Here’s a snippet from a current work in progress. The book is Spoonful of Sugar: A Daily Dose of Inspiration and Encouragement, scheduled for publication in November.
People who laugh actually live longer than those who don’t laugh.
Few persons realize that health actually varies according to the amount of laughter.
James J. Walsh
Some people seem to have an instinctive ability to express joy and laugh their way through life. Others find it more difficult to be cheerful and to freely laugh. But when we look at how laughter can prolong our lives and give us greater health, I think it behooves us all to add larger doses of this restorative activity to our daily life.
Scientific studies have now been done to correlate the relationship between laughter and health, but in the 60’s, the idea was a far-fetched one. Dr. Norman Cousins, well known for his popular book from 1979 – An Anatomy of an Illness, was one of the first proponents of using laughter for health. In 1964 he was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that left him in debilitating pain. The doctors gave him only months to live. He checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel across the street and started on his own medical regime – high doses of Vitamin C and laughter – lots of it. He soon regained the use of his limbs and within six months was back on his feet. Two years later he returned to a full-time job and went on to live a long and healthy life, until his death in 1990.
To echo the laughter prescription, in the 1990’s laughter yoga became a popular pastime with many – usually practiced in an open city park, free for all to join in. Now laughter clubs have sprung up, all around the world. All are great ideas, but we don’t need to attend an official laughter club to introduce more of it in our life. All it takes is a conscious decision and a little effort to enjoy laughter every day. Give it a try. Add a dose of laughter to your life. It’s what the doctor ordered.
Every day I enjoy laughter as part of my vibrant life.
I hope you enjoyed this and you cultivate a little laughter in your life. Stay tuned and I’ll share more as we go along through the year.