Now I know what you’re thinking ‘look who’s gone all doom & gloom!’ but wait.. let me finish:
Laughter is not the best medicine, but in fact it could be the best prevention!
“A day without laughter is a day wasted”
― Charlie Chaplin
So many medicines these days focus on how to ‘manage’ or hide symptoms rather than curing the condition itself. As a lover of Ayurveda (Eastern medicine) and health, I am always looking for new ways to find preventative methods, so that illness can be combated at the first hurdle.
A recent article in Scientific American Mind examined new studies that have found women with a good sense of humor have a significant reduction in risk of illness and mortality and men with a jolly-good outlook show less susceptibility to infection. Happy Days!
Now this is no laughing matter (sorry I couldn’t help it) – the risk for women of death from any cause is a whopping 48% lower and there is an even greater reduction of 73% less risk of death from heart disease and 83% reduction of risk of death from infection! So if you don’t have a sense of humor by now, you’d better jump on Youtube after this and find something that tickles your fancy- your life depends on it! For the men out there feeling left out, don’t worry, your fabulous sense of humor has huge protective benefit too- cutting your risk of death from infection by 74%!
Now why this colossal decrease from one simple factor? Having a sense of humor, it seems, is a considerable advantage in being able to manage daily stress and conflict, which, let’s be honest, are unavoidable. When you get stressed your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses your immune system and voila- hello illness. It all comes down to developing the skill to not take life to seriously. A lot of what happens to us we can’t have direct control of, but one thing we always can control is our reaction to the events around us. And when it’s a life or death matter, laughing it off suddenly seems to have a lot more appeal!
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Life’s a funny thing isn’t it (last pun I promise) but with all of its challenges and struggles, all in all it was meant to be enjoyed! You are the only person who will make that happen. As the lovely quote on my fridge says ‘positivity is a choice’.
So today- choose happiness.
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.