I have often read and been told that laughter keeps our immune systems humming by decreasing stress hormones. It also boosts infection-fighting anti-bodies. By keeping our blood vessels pumping, it protects our hearts. My gym instructor once told me that laughter triggers a rush of those all important endorphins that we all love to feel after a good workout.
The well-known journalist, Norman Cousins, was diagnosed with a painful spine condition and he discovered that a regular diet of comedies and episodes of Candid Camera, actually took away his pain.
To quote: “I made the joyous discovery,” Cousins wrote, that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of well-needed pain-free sleep.
I discovered that while trying to cope with mental illness in my family, our support group drew up a short list of things we should do to help us feel a bit brighter.-
- SMILE: Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it is contagious.
- We made lists of all our blessings. The simple act of considering the good things in my life, helped distance me from negative thoughts that acted as a barrier to humor and laughter and consequently, to feeling good.
- Whenever I heard laughter, I moved toward it. Sometimes, humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group of people, but more often than not, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them the opportunity to laugh all over again and feed off the humor there. So, seek laughter.
- I tried to spend time with fun people who laughed and smiled easily, both at themselves and at life’s absurdities; the kind of people who find humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view is often contagious too.
- We learned how to bring humor into ordinary conversation simply by asking; “What is the funniest thing that happened to you today or this year, or in your life?”
SO, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? START NOW.
I hope that this brings a bit of relief to all those people out there who are suffering from chronic pain.