Saturday, August 1, 2009

Humor can Heal!

I love this article that I found about humor and healing. Of course our family has never been short in the humor department and I do think it has been a life saver for us. I hope you enjoy this article and remember to try and find something to laugh about!

Ways Humor Can Heal

By  Therese J. Borchard

Of all my tools to combat stress-especially the stress of dealing with my illness or someone else's--humor is by far the most fun. Proverbs 17:22 says that "a happy heart is good medicine." I'd add that human beings and their caretakers can heal and find joy again if they learn how to laugh. Here are just a few ways a dose of humor might transform something ugly and stressful to slightly entertaining, and, well, a tad less catastrophic.

Humor Combats Fear... Humor disengages fear because it changes your perspective both on the past and the present.

Humor Comforts... There is an unspoken message hidden within a chuckle that says this: "I promise, you'll get through this." Just like the comforting hug of your mom when you were three. In fact, New York City's Big Apple Circus has used humor to console sick children since 1986, when they started sending teams of clowns into hospital rooms with "rubber chicken soup" and other fun surprises.

Humor Relaxes ...Like any exercise, laughing relaxes you and works against the chronic stress that most Americans wear on their shoulders.

Humor Reduces Pain ...Dr. Elias Shaya, chief of psychiatry at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore also tries to instill the importance of laughter in his patients. In a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, humor very definitely seemed to diminish pain.

Humor Boosts the Immune System ...Simply anticipating laughter boosted health-protecting hormones and chemicals.
Laughter was once again found to increase the ability to fight viruses and foreign cells.

Humor Reduces Stress ...A research team in Loma Linda, California, conducted a  study recently to see if the anticipation of laughter that was shown to boost immune systems could also reduce the levels of three stress hormones: cortisol ("the stress hormone"), epinephrine (adrenaline), and dopac, a dopamine catabolite (brain chemical which helps produce epinephrine).

Humor Spreads Happiness ...My point: laughter is contagious. That's why there are 5,000 laughter clubs around the world-where people laugh for no reason at all.

Humor Cultivates Optimism... Humor is like gratitude in that it nurtures optimism, and Dan Baker writes this in "What Happy People Know":
"[Appreciation] is the first and most fundamental happiness tool...Research now shows it is physiologically impossible to be in a state of appreciation and a state of fear at the same time. Thus, appreciation is the antidote to fear."


I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and she was always correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think it's time for you to try to figure out some of these yourself!"

No comments: