Adults average 15 laughs a day. Children laugh 400 times a day. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we lose 385 laughs a day, says a San Francisco jollytologist, who sees gloom as a detriment; giddiness as an attribute.
Allen Klein, a nationally recognized speaker and humor educator, came to Utah - not to show people how to be funny, but how to see funny."In this pretty serious world, we need to start looking for the humor," he told health cares professionals, whose mental ghosts and goblins were washed away by laughter moments after hearing Klein's animated message. "It (humor) is all around us. We need to open our eyes and see it."
Klein, who's really a gelotologist - one who studies humor - was a featured presenter Wednesday at opening sessions of the Utah Health Care Association's 27th annual convention.
The convention, which attracted 400 professionals to the Hilton Hotel, continues through Friday. Controversial political issues, such as catastrophic health care legislation, Medicaid and Medicare funding, will be the focus of the three-day meeting.
But Wednesday the emphasis was on the healing power of humor and Klein's five key letters for increasing your sense of humor - "LAUGH."
"L" stands for "let go," said Klein, who carries a bottle of bubbles whereever he goes. "They are great in airports while waiting for delayed planes and in traffic jams." When he's stuck in traffic, the jollytologist rolls down the window and blows bubbles at surrounding cars.
"A" stands for "attitude."
"Things are the way they are," he said. "We are going to get stuck in traffic jams. There are going to be droughts from time to time. It is our attitude about these things that makes the difference."
"U" is for "you," he said. "You are the one who needs to look for humor. No one can do it for you."
"G" means "go for it" - and the humorist does.
Klein, who Wednesday was armed with red balls, Chinese puzzles and silly masks, said he has a sign on his bathroom mirror that reads: "This person is not to be taken seriously." He advises everyone else to hang similar messages in their abodes.
"H" stands for "humor."
According to Klein, it's everywhere. "For example, I was in a laundromat last week and there was a sign on the wall that read, `When the machine stops, remove your clothes.' "
Health care professionals, who work in a serious industry, especially need to go in search of their funny bone, Klein advised. "What has been scientifically proven is the body-mind connection. When we are thinking positively, it's better for our health. When we are worried, concerned, stressed out, it's not good for our health."
Health care providers can't take care of others, if they aren't taking care of themselves, Klein stressed. "Humor is an instant way you can turn things around immediately. It's always there."