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Laughter …a Good Medicine

I had never attended any comedy show until last weekend. I have some comedy clips in my phone and in my laptop that I watch once in a while and I have even bought some tapes of these comedians wowing their crowds and leaving them reel with laughter but I have never really thought about attending their shows proper. This isn't for any particuIar reason but for the fact that I didn't think it was worth paying twenty thousand naira or thereabouts for a ticket just to go and laugh. I preferred watching the tapes in my comfort zone and actually considered myself smart for watching it for free instead of paying like others to watch it as a live show. Anyway, I spent last weekend in Lagos and that perception changed. I was finally converted by my siblings to a comedy show fan and I knew that Lagos would see much more of me now that I have made that discovery. Did you just ask what discovery? I'll tell you. The discovery that laughter is a very good medicine and my body needs it in order to function well. The discovery that it is better to pay twenty thousand naira for tickets to be entertained and laugh away my stress and frustrations than pay it to a doctor who will end up giving me pills that will even cause me more problems and get me addicted. The discovery that laughter relieves physical tension and stress, boosts the immune system, reduces the stress hormones, increases immune cells and creates a new perspective for you. As a matter of fact, laughter is a therapy for healing and is a valuable form of preventive and complimentary medicine. It actually increases your infection fighting antibodies, thereby improving your resistance to disease. Yes, like I said, laughter is good medicine. It's really funny when I think back now how much I discovered in just one weekend. Yes. I returned from that show, felt so good that I  had to surf the internet just to find out about that very simple act called LAUGHTER. It is amazing. It is truly amazing how one simple act can change your whole body system and make you feel brand new. It is truly amazing how the simple act of laughing can make you forget all your frustrations and worries and make you feel like you just released a lot of negativity.  I discovered a whole lot. Do you know that laughter opens your heart and purifies your soul? It soothes your soul in a way that is beautiful and peaceful. Please believe me when I say that the more you laugh, the more you live. It's a statement of fact. It's proven. It's tested. It's confirmed to be true.
My name is Uche and I am a very happy woman. One of the things I never forget to wear anytime you see me is a smile. My smile is a part of me. It's a garb. It's a signature. I believe that we all have problems no matter how successful or rich or popular we may be. However, I do not believe in carrying my problems on my forehead. Why would I do that? To get people to pity me? To feel sorry for me? Never. People would rather discuss your problems and let it spread like wild fire while leaving their own by the corner. So, I prefer to be my happy self and take the world the way it comes. Solve the problems I can. Leave the ones I can't solve in the hands of God my creator. Have a clear mind and a free spirit and everything will fall in place. I love laughing. I love laughter. I love being happy and love spreading happiness too. I see laughter as a fluid that purifies the soul. I see it as something everyone should begin to adopt especially now that the recession in our dear country has turned everyone and every sector into what they never envisaged. The hard times have actually come and the way I see it is that it came with its mat so that if you don't have a seat for it, it would tell you, 'my name is recession and I have come to stay. Don't bother about giving me a seat. As you can see, I came with my own mat'. Take it or leave it, that's how bad the situation is. So, it's better you adopt a therapy to deal with it or, prepare to have hypertension as a middle name and doctors and pills as your companions. As for those who suffer from depression, their cases are actually worse than we see from the outside. What they feel inside is usually so deep that nobody can truly understand how bad their situation really is. That is why most times they become suicidal. The medical doctor that jumped inside the lagoon and drowned in Lagos is still very fresh in our memories. That suicidal act would have been averted if he had some sort of comical relief. I say this without mincing words. Depressed people are worse than hypertensive people. A depressed person bottles up every emotion and every passing minute leads him closer to his grave because all his thoughts are suicidal. If however, he musters the courage to confide in a shrink, his case becomes less threatening. If he also manages to mix up with friends and loosens up, he'll gradually see himself being unconsciously being lifted out of his depression. Doctors or shrinks will always recommend self-help materials for depressed patients. Guess what is the most tested and tried self-help material I would recommend for depression anytime? You guessed right. Laughter!!! I would actually suggest comedy shows to anyone who is depressed and reading this piece. Laughter is therapeutic. Laughter heals. Laughter is life.  
Laughter is actually an emotion. Yes. It really is. Let's look at the home front. A home devoid of laughter can never be a happy home. You know why? I'll tell you. It's because parenting is based on the relationship between parents and children. That is why laughter is very important in the home and the growth of family generally. I will at this point advice everyone reading this to adopt the habit of making laughter reign supreme in your homes, regardless of your gender. If you are the man of the house, ensure that the home doesn't lose its laughter just because you are probably trying to throw your weight around the house. Some men have the habit of making the children and even their wives jumpy just because of their belief that they are no-nonsense people. Once they return from work, the woman of the house becomes scared of being her playful self and the children all run to their rooms for safety. If you fall in that category of men, kindly retrace your steps. You are merely going to end up being lonely in your old age. Remember, it is in your old age that you need all the fun and laughter from your family in order to aid your aging process. If however you drive away the very people that are to be by your side at that lonely time your life, then you have yourself to blame. No youth wants to be beside a grumpy and bitter old man. Relatively, no man wants to be around a nagging old wife. It's as simple as that.
So, just before  end this piece I want to maintain that laughter is great. If you do not have a sense of humour, you will probably be a very miserable person. You might not know this, but laughter  makes us imaginative and creative and thereby improves our sense of humour.  Try and feel good about yourself. That is the only way you can get the power to succeed. Surround yourself with men and women who have a positive attitude so as to maintain a superb self image and the positivity that comes with it. Always think for the best, work for the best and expect only the best. When you have been able to do this, then will you be able to remain strong so that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Most importantly, you will be able to draw out only the positive in everyone you meet.  
Like I said, I have been converted to being a comedy show addict. Last Saturday at the Muson Centre, Lagos was an eye opener for me. I left Awka feeling very stressed and looking forward to rewinding over the weekend when I got to Lagos. I had a lot of plans about my stay but don't get it wrong, I just wanted to be in the house, sleep my day through, wake up, eat and go back to bed. I planned doing that for the three days my weekend would last. When the idea of going to the show came up, I told my siblings I wasn't interested. Last minute, I accepted and off we went. It was a show that started by 8pm. By the time it was 2am, I had laughed so hard that I thought my ribs would crack. It was exhilarating. It was heartwarming. It was refreshing. It was good. I had this nagging headache for about four days before I went to Lagos. I realized it was gone. I felt this sensational aura of being at ease  deep down in my spirits. I felt a sort of cleansing that got to the roots of my worn out body, heart and soul. I felt like a new born.
The journalist in me made me go round at a point during the musical interlude and talk to some people at the red carpet. I found out that majority of them were civil servants that were completely stressed from work and came to unwind. For them it was a ritual. It was a tradition. It was a therapy to help them deal with stress. I was so happy to laugh and exchange pleasantries with Basket Mouth, Bovi, Buchi, Klint the Drunk, Buchi, I go die, Kenny Blaq, etc. I know that henceforth, I will spend my weekends at least two times every month in Lagos. It won't be easy, I know , but I refuse to give recession a chance to dull my sparkle. Thank you all for reading Frank Talk. Remember, whatever you do, don't stop laughing!!!            


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