Julia Louis-Dreyfus arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Oct. 21, 2018. (Owen Sweeney / Invision / Associated Press)
Brentwood School

Laughter is the best medicine

For actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, humor and finding the funny moments helped her deal with her battle with cancer, according to an announcement on Twitter in Sept. 2017, when she had breast cancer and one year later, she is cancer free.

The actress, who is best known for her roles on “Veep” and “Seinfeld,” was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for Humor last October, according to PBS. The Twain Prize has been awarded to comedians, talk show hosts, and writers since 1998. She won the award in her hometown, Washington, District of Columbia’s Kennedy Center on Oct. 20.

Dreyfus, who has won 11 Emmys, received tributes from other famous comedians including Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld, and Lisa Kudrow. After the testimonials, she then gave her heartfelt thanks and shared about her personal battle with cancer.

“Last year, I was lucky enough to get an Emmy award for my performance on ‘Veep,’” Dreyfus told USA Today. “Then, about 12 hours later, I was diagnosed with cancer, another hilarious turn of events. I’m only half-kidding, of course. Cancer isn’t at all funny, but a big part of dealing with it has been finding the funny moments.”

Since her diagnosis, she has been an advocate for women’s health. She is Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure ambassador. She has been able to help others who are in the same position she was in.

Since Dreyfus had access to healthcare during this critical time in her life, she wants to make sure that everyone can have insurance, according to the Huffington Post. On “Veep” she plays a politician and in real life she encourages others to vote to protect this fundamental right. She also motivates individuals to volunteer in the voting process, according to Variety.

She has been an actress for over 35 years and has used humor in her work. She has also been able to find humor within herself during this difficult time in her life.

“The old cliché about laughter being the best medicine turns out to be true,” Dreyfus told USA Today.

Using laughter as medicine can be applied to all aspects of our daily life. As the school year is picking up and stress levels are rising, it is important to find time during the day to find something to laugh about. Whether it is studying for exams, playing sports, or social pressures, remember to keep everything in perspective and to have a sense of humor.

“There’s no situation — none — that isn’t improved with a couple of laughs,” Dreyfus told USA Today.