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Is Laughter Really the Best Medicine?


When it comes to the basics of health and happiness, an amplified state of positive emotion comes first. When we feel better about ourselves, we do better for ourselves; when we feel poorly, we tend to behave poorly. Food has a critical component in this scenario, but it acts more as a supplement for positive emotions as opposed to a replacement for them. In order to truly appreciate a peak state of health and vibrancy, we must learn to appreciate the comedic narrative happening in each day. Science is revealing that perhaps the healthiest thing each of us can do is indulge in consistent bouts of laughter. It isn’t typically unhealthy to laugh a lot, but not enough can have detrimental effects over time.

In India there has been a movement going on called Laughter Yoga, started by Dr. Madan Kataria, who believes this simple tool can be the best medicine. Laughter is one of the main reasons for social gatherings; the anticipation of positive interactions with others is what stimulates certain endorphins that attract people together. In Dr. Kataria’s program, groups of people get together to laugh hysterically at each other and themselves with great results. This idea came from the scientific research indicating the benefits of laughter and overall positive emotions on the body. Laughing helps release serotonin and increases immune function. Those who are happier in life tend to not only outlive negative individuals but also age more gracefully regardless of alternative lifestyle factors.

It appears that laughter may represent the holy grail of health, healing, and anti-aging. Is it possible in a world dominated by complexity that something so simple and obvious could hold the master key? I submit to the reader that is exactly the case. When gratitude becomes our dominant attitude, the comedy of life becomes much more apparent.

Enjoy this excerpt from my book The Life Food Peak Performance System:

“The great example of using laughter and positive emotion as a viable avenue for self-healing is of the holistic health and peace activist, Norman Cousins. Cousins had been diagnosed with heart disease, told he did not have very much time to live. so he decided to take his life into his own hands and create a personal self revival strategy based on his beliefs towards healing. He began locking himself in a room watching old Marx Brothers comedy movies. He focused his attention on creating an environment of positivity, love, joy, and laughter. He believed that at least 10 minutes of genuine laughter would provide him with at least two hours of pain-free-sleep. He stated that, ‘When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval.’”

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