Inspirational: Laughter is the Best Medicine


eMediNexus    25 October 2017

Many years ago Norman Cousins was diagnosed as terminally ill He was given six months to live His chance for recovery was 1 in 500 He could see the worry depression and anger in his life contributed to and perhaps helped cause his disease He wondered If illness can be caused by negativity can wellness be created by positivity He decided to make an experiment of himself Laughter was one of the most positive activities he knew He rented all the funny movies he could find Keaton Chaplin Fields the Marx Brothers This was before VCRs so he had to rent the actual films He read funny stories He asked his friends to call him whenever they said heard or did something funny His pain was so great he could not sleep Laughing for 10 solid minutes he found relieved the pain for several hours so he could sleep He fully recovered from his illness and lived another 20 happy healthy and productive years His journey is detailed in his book Anatomy of an Illness He credits visualization the love of his family and friends and laughter for his recovery Some people think laughter is a waste of time It is a luxury they say a frivolity something to indulge in only every so often Nothing could be further from the truth Laughter is essential to our equilibrium to our well being to our aliveness If we re not well laughter helps us get well if we are well laughter helps us stay that way Since Cousins ground breaking subjective work scientific studies have shown that laughter has a curative effect on the body the mind and the emotions So if you like laughter consider it sound medical advice to indulge in it as often as you can If you don t like laughter then take your medicine laugh anyway Use whatever makes you laugh movies sitcoms Monty Python records books New Yorker cartoons jokes and friends Give yourself permission to laugh long and loud and out loud whenever anything strikes you as funny The people around you may think you re strange but sooner or later they ll join in even if they don t know what you re laughing about Some diseases may be contagious but none is as contagious as the cure laughter

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