Childhood is often referred to as a carefree and playful time enjoyed without a thought of responsibility. However, a more accurate look at the average youth experience reveals that children experience quite a bit of emotional and sometimes physical pain. Many children who live such a stressful childhood reach for humor as a coping mechanism.

A group of researchers at Texas A&M found that humor can significantly increase hope and that hopefulness helps people cope with stresses in daily life including illness. At professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY demonstrated in a medical setting that humor helps both patients and physicians cope. It is true, laughter is often the best medicine.

"Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on." - Bob Newhart

Many people who have had painful childhoods became masters at humor. Watch most any James Lipton interview with an actor on Bravo's "Inside The Actors Studio" and you will recognize the common thread of talented actors who have turned to their craft to cope with a difficult childhood. It is frequently assumed that comics and comedians used humor to deal with stressful childhood environments, particularly with parental conflict or a distant mother.

"Nobody became an actor because he had a good childhood." - William H. Macy

Rodney Dangerfield, was one of the funniest comics and actors who was raised by his mother. Growing up with a painful childhood found escape through humor. As a child, comedian George Lopez never felt like it was great to be part of a family. When first performed, at age 18, he made the audience roar with laughter. He felt like he was flying. It was the first time he ever felt complete acceptance and love.

Jim Carrey knew hardship as a child. His mother was often ill and Jim spent many hours near her bedside spontaneously performing funny routines to make her laugh, make her feel better. Chris Rock based his show "Everybody Hates Chris" on his painful childhood memories growing up as the only black student in an all-white school in New York City. After comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres' parents divorced she helped her mother cope with depression by making her laugh. A surprising number of comics have such faced hardships as children, yet managed to find their personal salvation through laughter. They continue to cope with childhood memories, and provide our entertainment, by making us laugh. Often this laughter helps us cope with our own painful memories.

"I found I could make her happy, and she wouldn't be crying anymore," When you're a kid you don't usually have that kind of control over your parent, but I could change her emotion, and that was amazing." - Ellen De Generes

"Life can be a bummer -- full of hurt and pain and sadness. It's part of it, and important to put it in perspective. Have a sense of humor as much as you can." - Ellen DeGeneres

We express laughter through the body, through emotions and with our spirit. Laughter evokes an internal flowing that is life-affirming. A hearty guffaw can improve blood flow, according to a study from the University Maryland. When you enjoy a good laugh, your body relaxes and triggers endorphins that promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughing also helps to break down stress hormones and build up hormones associated with happiness.
So if you're having a day when your frustrated, stressed out, anxious or just plain stuck, watch a few funny YouTube videos, go to a Comedy Club or spend some time with people and things that make you laugh! Get your blood flowing, your heart beating and step back into the rhythm and flow that is the essence of the playful creative spirit.

You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it. - Bill Cosby

Author's Bio: 

Valery is a Mentor, Coach & Author who provides an all in one toolkit and training course that give you the necessary tools and information to get over the unique challenges that come from success, fame and fortune. Championing those who have or aspire fame and/or fortune to maximize their potential is her calling. She's fully prepared to engage clients with her experience, extensive training, certifications. For more information please visit