Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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Something, I hope.
Why? For one, it just plain feels good. It's also free. Laughing is something most of us do not do enough of. But we should remind ourselves to do more of it.
In the 1970's, writer Norman Cousins - who had been diagnosed with a crippling autoimmune disease - reasoned that if stress could make his condition worse then why not try the opposite to make it better? So he self-prescribed the cure: funny videos and shows. He shut himself up in a hotel room and laughed his way toward wellness, driving his disease into remission.
And now a study confirms that strong tie between the emotions and the body. When researchers studied the effects of laughter in the 1980s on two significant hormones which elevate mood and boost immunity, they found that just anticipating watching a funny film stimulated these valuable hormones and at the same time, decreased harmful stress hormones.
The present study, which was conducted on high-risk diabetics, shows the value of "mirthful" laughter once again: it raised good (HDL) cholesterol and lowered inflammation and stress levels.
One of the researchers, Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, a preventive care specialist and psychoneuroimmunologist, of Loma Linda University in California, was quoted as saying, "Lifestyle choices have a significant impact on health and disease and these are choices which we and the patient exercise control relative to prevention and treatment."
It's no wonder we always feel great after a good laugh. What makes you feel delightfully out of control actually can put you IN control.
I'm going to find every opportunity to laugh every day!