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To laugh often and much... - Ralph Waldo Emerson

>> 27 October 2008

Anticipating A Laugh Reduces Stress Hormones

By seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot on our own to stay well

Even though they have been well documented, the beneficial effects of laughter have not finished astonishing us: we have now discovered that laughter does us good before it even happens. In 2006, the team of Dr Lee Berk of Loma Linda University, had already shown that the simple perspective of seeing a funny movie increased the secretion of beta-endorphins (hormones which relieve depression) and the growth hormone (active all our life in the immune system). According to the newest studies, anticipation of a good laugh is enough to considerably reduce the production of stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline).

Check out these sites:
  • Laughter is medicine
  • Norman Cousin’s seminal book ”Anatomy of an Illness” details his healing journey overcoming ankylosing spondylitis (a degenerative disease causing the breakdown of collagen). Given up to die within a few months in 1965, almost completely paralyzed, Cousins checked out of the hospital, moved into a hotel room and began taking extremely high doses of vitamin C while exposing himself to a continuous stream of humorous films and similar ”laughing matter”. His condition steadily improved and Cousins regained the use of his limbs until he was able to return to his full-time job at the Saturday Review.
  • Crazy Sexy Cancer
  • The Humor Collection


Beverly 28 October 2008 at 00:13  

Hello Mimi! What a great blog and I really love this post. I am a true believer that laughter is great medicine. I laugh all the time, at silly things, dumb jokes, whatever. For me it's very cleansing, especially after a long day working, and makes me look at the world in a much rosier way.

Lance 28 October 2008 at 18:09  

Laughter is so important - thanks for the reminder. Now...I'm off to get a good, hearty laugh in!

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