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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 116

How important are friendships and laughter?

As part of our personal work during the recovery stage of the pandemic, Helen and I reconnected with a graduate school friend of mine. We traveled cross-country, in the early 1970’s, ostensibly to study with Carl Rogers at the Center for Study of the Person in La Jolla, California. During our travels, we experienced things that we still laugh about and recall today.

Friendship is such an important aspect to enhanced engagement with living and healthy growth. In our relationship, my friend and I kept connected perhaps once every other year. Then, a few years ago, I reached out to my friend and we have been communicating regularly ever since. A few weekends ago he, his wife, Helen and I were able to spend a few days together. It was great and full of laughs and old stories.

Along with the obvious benefits of healthy relationships there are both physical and psychological benefits. Some of these include, but not limited to, boost in happiness, reducing stress, improving sense of self-worth, easing of the impact of difficulties, along with enhancing the immune system.

Over that weekend, we visited the Lucy/Desi Museum of I Love Lucy fame and then a tour of the National Comedy Center, both in Jamestown, New York. As you can imagine, we spent the better part of the day laughing.

Laughter has amazing short-term effects. Not only does it feel good psychologically it also produces positive physical changes. Some of these changes, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • It soothes tension.

  • It activates and relieves your stress response.

  • It stimulates many organs including your heart, lungs and muscles and increases the release of endorphins.

Long-term effects may include:

  • Relief of pain.

  • Increases in personal satisfaction.

  • Improvement in one’s mood.

The combination of good friends and good laughter makes for a perfect recipe for good health.


Key Takeaways

  • Laughter makes the world go around.

  • Time spent with good friends is rewarding.

  • Now is the time to reconnect with good friends and sources of laughter.

Best Practices

  • “Make new friends, but keep the old

  • One is silver and the other is gold” (Helen was a girl scout)

  • Reflect on your sources of laughter and visit frequently.

  • Make time for friends.

  • Create your comedy profile soon

Things to Limit

  • Taking life too seriously.

  • Not making time for friends.

  • Forgetting how to laugh


Quote of the Week

“If one’s friends do not openly laugh at him, they are not in fact his friends.”

~Dean Koontz


In summary, spending time with good friends and laughter are excellent sources for healthy living.

Upon entering the National Comedy Center you are confronted with an electronic sign that asks you to “Create Your Comedy Profile.” This personalizes your comedy experience and for the duration of your time there, you have a personalized tour of comedy through movie clips, stand-up dialogues, TV shows etc. for over the past 75 plus years. Worth the time and price of admission. Enjoy!

Be well,

The paraDocs

Image by Clker

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Permission is given to share with others.

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