Laughter IS the best medicine!


The Importance of Having Fun

I have realised a few things during my own journey of awakening (as is the way). One such thing being the importance of having fun. It is an inner aspect that we as adults can very easily neglect within ourselves as we aim to be mature role-models for our younger counterparts, be they offspring, siblings, etc.

It is apparent to me that (without alcohol) being silly, having fun, and getting in touch with your inner child is something that a lot of us could do with experiencing more often. I mean things like walking in the rain (and enjoying it!), rolling sideways down a snow-laden slope (and getting soaked!… and enjoying it!), even swinging on swings as high as you can go and shouting “weeee!” (try it! I bet you can’t do it without smiling, and as a natural consequence, feeling instantaneously better than you were before!).

image: fun in the snow (sleepymoose.com)

All too often we see grumpy adults telling off youngsters for having fun or “being silly”. I know because I too have been one of those grumpy adults! One has to wonder though, is it because we as grown-ups feel we can’t be childish ourselves anymore and so feel a slight tinge of jealousy toward the younger generation? or maybe we just become grumpier as a direct result of losing our “silliness”. Whatever the reason, I would encourage all of you to reconnect with the inner child in you, and remember the glory days of doing things “that’s the why” and “just because”.

image: The Marx BrothersYou may have heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”. This is very true, but have you heard of the man named, Norman cousins? Aptly titled “The Man Who Laughed Himself to Health”. If not, then let me introduce him to you.

Norman Cousins (1915 – 1990) was a very prestigious man – a world peace advocate and receiver of hundreds of awards, including the UN Peace Medal – who overcame a life threatening disease and a massive coronary.

After being told by doctors that he had little chance of surviving, Cousins developed a recovery program incorporating megadoses of Vitamin C, along with a positive attitude and lots of laughter induced by Marx Brothers films and other such humorous content. His condition steadily improved and he regained the use of his limbs until eventually he was able to return to his full-time job at the Saturday Review. Cousins continued living and laughing for an extra 10 years after the doctors had originally diagnosed him as terminally ill.

Laughter is the best medicine!

image: patch adams at work

Another inspiration of mine, Hunter “Patch” Adams, the man whom the movie “Patch Adams” is based on, believes that laughter and a positive attitude are far more effective than medicine alone. According to his website (www.patchadams.org), “Patch Adams is best known for his work as a medical doctor and a clown, and he is also a social activist who has devoted 40 years to changing America’s health care system. He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process.”

Here are just 4 reasons to create more happiness, laughter and fun in your own life, and in the lives of those around you:

1) Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

2) Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

3) Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

4) Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

You can read more about the positive effects of laughter here (http://bit.ly/ucLN8M)

This guy doesn’t sound too different from myself when I sing.

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5 thoughts on “Laughter IS the best medicine!

  1. Thanks for the reminder to have fun. I notice that the people with whom I prefer to send time are the people with whom I can laugh. I believe we are meant to be happy….look at the beautiful world in which we live. Yes, we must let ourselves be silly, absurd, laugh until tears roll down our cheeks and share this joy with others. Great write and the perfect way to start my day. Hugs, pat

    1. Thanks Pat! Sometimes a gentle reminder is all we need 🙂
      I hope you have a day filled with wonder and tears (of laughter!) ahead of you.

      namaste -SM

      1. Thanks for the advice…
        Now i’ve learnt to stay more positive and have a LOT OF FUN..

      2. And thank you, Jessica, for your visit and for taking the time to comment. Feel free to check out the rest of the site and also the Facebook page which is also very active. May your days be filled with smiles and laughter, SM

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