Wednesday, June 02, 2010
In Norman Counsins’ book Anatomy of an Illness”, he tells how he recovered from a crippling disease to resume a healthy, normal life. His main medicine--laughter in large doses. Cousins believed that his serious approach to life had precipitated his illness and figured he could reverse the condition through laughter. He watched Marx Brothers movies and Candid Camera tapes until both the symptoms and the pain disappeared. He demonstrated what people have said for years, “Laughter is the best medicine.” When you laugh, all kinds of wonderful things happen to benefit your body and mind. Endorphins are released in your brain which give you a “natural high” and your respiratory system gets the kind of workout that it may get from jogging. Laughter relieves pain. You can only laugh when you are relaxed and the more relaxed you are the less pain you feel; so funny books and movies are ideal pain relievers. In fact, you can’t get ulcers and laugh at the same time--you have to choose one or the other. The same goes for other illnesses. We often get sick by taking ourselves and life too seriously. What we need to do is laugh to help us stay healthy. Let us assume that you are broke and you have just smashed your car, you are going through a divorce and the roof is leaking. If all that is going on, why make things worse by being unhappy as well?