Monday, March 24, 2014

Using Humor to Enhance our Health

As we age, most of us are going to suffer from a variety of ailments.  Many of them will merely be inconveniences ... a bit of arthritis, tennis elbow, or sore muscles.  In other cases, we may face life-threatening illnesses such as cancer or heart disease.  In addition, we will all face periods of stress ... the death of a loved one, a distant move, or financial difficulty.   Some people will even have to endure all of those events.

How can we get through these experiences without letting discomfort, life-threatening illnesses and stressful circumstances destroy us?  Occasionally, I recommend books or articles that I find on other sites, especially if I think they will help my readers have a happier and more satisfying retirement.  In that spirit, I recently discovered a book that I that I feel many Baby Boomers will find useful in dealing with life's struggles.

According to Jan Marshall, the founder of the International Humor & Healing Institute and the author of "Dancin' Schmancin' with the Scars: Finding the Humor No Matter What," most of us will be healthier and happier if we approach all of life's complications with a sense of humor.

Ms. Marshall practices what she preaches, too.  As you read through her book, you will discover her own profound experiences with breast cancer and other difficulties.  However, after allowing herself time to cry and grieve over her personal losses, she used her own indomitable spirit and sense of humor to get herself through some of the worst trials many of us will have to face.

She concludes her book with a chapter full of tips that will help her readers find a sense of humor in their life challenges, too.

Here are two of my favorite quotes from her book:

"If we can eventually discover humor in a dire situation, we probably have defeated and survived it."

"Not a shred of evidence exists that life is serious ... "

I recently spent some time with Jan, sitting next to her a rather boring business meeting for a club in our retirement community.  I was so glad I was sitting at the back of the room, because she was such a delightful conversationalist.  She is a frequent public speaker on the topic of humor and healing and, in fact, founded the International Humor & Healing Institute in 1986. 

Once you read her book, I'm sure you will have a few favorite quotes from it, too.  Other readers who have already discovered her charming wit have given her book a 5-star rating on

You can order her book directly from Amazon by using this link:

"Dancin' Schmancin' with the Scars: Finding the Humor No Matter What!

If you are in the process of planning your own happy retirement, you may also want to check out the tabs at the top of this blog to find links to other articles that may be of interest to you.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credit:
(As an Amazon affiliate, I am permitted to use Amazon photos when I write product reviews.)


  1. Wonderful topic for your blog! And this sounds like a great book. I remember Robin Williams starring in a movie called Patch Adams where he used humor in his pediatric practice. Terrific, feel good stuff and a nice message.

    1. I believe that the author of this book, Jan Marshall, actually had the opportunity to meet the real Patch Adams, in her position as the founder of the International Humor & Healing Institute. She has a lot of admiration for what he accomplished.


Thank you for leaving a comment. Your thoughts and insights about retirement are always appreciated. However, comments that include links to other sites will usually not be published.