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This month we have a special guest columnist, Caitlin Hempton. Caitlin is a student at Oakland University in their Wellness, Health Promotion, & Injury Prevention program who is interning with PVM.

There is something intrinsically human about laughing. Regardless of nationality, race, religion or creed, if someone in a crowd starts laughing, most of the crowd will end up laughing. It is built into us.

It is pretty straight forward to discuss how laughter brings joy and happiness to our lives, but thanks to research inspired by Norman Cousins, and his book Anatomy of an Illness, we now know that laughter can actually make you healthier. Laughter has been shown to reduce or prevent stress, improve immune function, reduce pain and can even improve your cholesterol! How often do you get to hear that something you already enjoy doing will make you healthier?

Unfortunately, laughter doesn’t always come to us when we need it most, such as during stressful times or when we are in pain. However, you can use humor to create laughable moments in even the direst of times. The trick is to hone and master the skill of humor so that you can tap into it when you need a good laugh. Yes, humor can be taught and trained. The next time someone tells you a joke try and guess what the punch line will be. If you’re watching a funny TV program try and figure out what will happen next.

Here is training exercise for you to work on. Try and guess the missing punch line of the joke using just the hint.

I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker. But when I got home, all the ____________ were there

(Hint: What would a road worker steal from work?)

(Answer: Signs)