Follow Susan on Facebook Connect with Susan on LinkedIn
powerful wisdom and guidance in your in box monthly

changing the face of aging
Susan Brooks
Is Laughter really the best medicine???

Is Laughter really the best medicine???
June 2024

Hope you are staying cool these days!

My girlfriends, Bonnie and Marcia, are my lifeline, 24/7 am/pm. Whenever we are together, no matter what else is going on in our lives with our children, our husbands, and/or our businesses, I know there will be at least one belly laugh from Bonnie, a minimum of one provocative laugh of brilliant insight from Marcia, and a great laugh wrapped around a good story from me about anything that simply has to be shared.

So much has happened in our lives since this photo was taken, but for us, whenever, wherever, laughter really is the best medicine.

"You don't stop laughing when you grow old...
you grow old when you stop laughing!"
~ George Bernard Shaw

And, laughter really is the best medicine! Laughter does give us so many great medical benefits to our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being:

  1. Stress reduction: Laughter triggers the release of endorphins and a whole bunch of other natural feel-good feelings that promote an overall sense of well-being. Laughter actually can give us temporary pain relief, too, believe it or not.
  2. Immune system boost: Laughter can enhance our immune system to help our body fight off illness and infections.
  3. Heart benefits: Laughter improves blood flow and relaxes blood vessels which helps to lower blood pressure and thankfully, reduce the risk of heart disease....especially important for women!
  4. Muscle relaxation: When you laugh, the muscles in our face, abdomen, and other parts of our bodies relax. Yes, it reduces tension and promotes relaxation. You can almost feel your body melting.
  5. Mood enhancement: Laughter is definitely contagious. It can lift our mood and help us cope with difficult situations. It's a great escape from stress and worries, helping us get a fresh and often better perspective and a more positive outlook that can help get us through another day.

Bottom line: do whatever you can that will make you LAUGH! Crying is beautiful to validate our sadness and memories, that's true, but laughter is the ingredient for genuine healing. The best thing you can do is to surround yourself with happy and provocative people, near and far from you.

Life is difficult and messy, and there's so much pain in our world. Crying can feel good, but know that Laughter helps us heal and love life even more! As my favorite Anne Lamott says "Laughter is carbonated holiness."

Talk to me.

Ya Gotta meet this Modern Elder
Diana V. Hoyt

Featured Modern Elder*

Diana V. Hoyt
Age 79 years

Diana is best known as a fund-raising consultant, coach and trainer for non-profits as well as having been the chair of the local Jewish Federation Women's Campaign. We're talking about a very serious business! "My passion is to help non-profits embrace data-driven donor- centered strategies for raising money." Her compassionate nature, her years as a high school math teacher, and her caring personality enable people to trust her, to give up their money because giving makes people feel better, plus it is a tax deduction. "My goal was to save one person at a time instead of trying to change humanity!"

Now, at 79, her goal is to inspire people to laugh. "There's so much talk of end-of-life at this age instead of enjoying life." Being a stand-up comic uses many of the same skills as fundraising and Diana, in her usual way, took her craft very deliberately: her discipline prepared her, "I don't want my presentation to be sloppy. I want to dress professionally, get the pacing and pausing right, and the writing, the writing never ends...I wrote up a subset when I was in the waiting room at the cardiologist's office…and neither does the practicing, the practicing. I don't see myself as brave. I see what I do as a calculated risk taker."

"I love my age! I'm free to say and do whatever...hey, I guess I've always done that! I've had a greater freedom to say NO. I'm having the best time of my life trying new things. My goal is to be a good human, have good karma. I want to celebrate my 80'th birthday at Disneyland! Of course! Words like I can't are not options for me."

"I want respect as a comedian. That's why I signed up at at the Tempe Center for the Arts to take classes and learn how to set-up jokes, story development, and read to learn more using the Comedy Bible, written by Judy Carter."

Catch Diana on June 15th at Jarrod’s Coffee bar on Main Street in Mesa for an all-women show. I'll be there for sure to see Diana in action. As she said in response to one heckler that was young enough to be one of her high school students: "Aren't you at least wondering what this old woman is going to say??"

"My adventure as a comedian is probably not my last career. I'm in a good place in my life. I've made peace with my demons so l let things roll off easier than ever. My life is valuable to me because I know I enhance others. My goal is always to get better!"

I look for Modern Elders wherever I go. They are everywhere. Their 'aliveness' is what I notice first. It's a man or woman 60+ that is living their best life. They inspire us. Modern Elders are our teachers, our role models to Change the Face of Aging! Share them with me, please!

If retirement or the next chapter is calling your name, if I can help you realize your vision in business and lifestyle, email me. Let's make it happen now!

*Chip Conley, best-selling author and speaker, hospitality entrepreneur and leading thought leader, created The Modern Elder Academy's mission "to inspire the ability to reframe a lifetime of experience and recognize one's mastery, relevance, and value in the modern workplace." The Modern Elder* is Conley's term and effort that "liberates and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path of growing whole, not old...The Modern Elder*marries wisdom and curiosity."

Every month this newsletter will Feature the stories and wisdom of Modern Elders*. Please send in your Modern Elder* nomination. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT

Susan Brooks

Today, I am 77 years old, and proud of it! Paul Simon, who is now in his 80's said it best years ago: us boomers are BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME!

Yes, I was born at the right time! I'm still a hippie from the 60's, I marched for civil rights for all humans, equal rights for women, waving my bra with the best. I am proud to be living and growing in a robust marriage of 57 years. I survived motherhood, and so did my now-adult children. I was an award-winning woman business owner when there were but a few of us. I've learned a whole bunch of lessons, and more importantly, I've earned my fair share of Wisdom, too. I am Pro-Age!

According to Chip Conley, one of today's leading thought leaders: "Experience is making a comeback. Wisdom never grows old." Chip created the hallmarks of the Modern Elder*: "learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, cultivating a beginner's mind so that learning never ends, exemplifying a willingness to evolve both as a student and sage." Research shows that shifting our mindset about Aging can add 7.4 happy years to a person's life.

Proud to say I am a graduate of the Modern Elder Academy as well as an active participant in Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit programs. As one of the creators and hosts of the Thrive@55 event, we celebrated our female community leaders who were 55+.

As long as I'm able to see the sunrise every morning and keep a curious mind, there's more living to do, so much more to learn, and so many new ways to serve. Trailblazer that I am, and always will be, I recognize my next mission: by example and demonstration I am committed to Changing the Face of Aging: One Modern Elder* at a time!

I welcome both local and national speaking engagements as well as one-on-one coaching opportunities to delve more deeply into navigating life transitions. Email me Here.

Juicy ways and energizing action steps: how to soak in the wisdom and energy of becoming your own Modern Elder*
Sign up for my Changing the face of Aging monthly newsletter!

Sign Up

Susan Brooks

Follow Susan on Facebook    Connect with Susan on LinkedIn


Privacy Policy