Mirthful Laughter – a laugh by any other name

I read something this morning that really got me to thinking.  So, first, let me share with you what I read:

“Norman Cousins. In the 1970s, Cousins, then a writer and magazine editor of the popular Saturday Review, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.thankfulforlaughter

He theorized that if stress could worsen his condition, as some evidence suggested at the time, then positive emotions could improve his health. As a result, he prescribed himself, with the approval of his doctor, a regimen of humorous videos and shows like Candid Camera©. Ultimately, the disease went into remission and Cousins wrote a paper that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine  and  a book about his experience, Anatomy of an Illness: A Patient’s Perspective, which was published in 1979. The book became a best seller and led to the investigation of a new field, known then as whole-person care or integrative medicine and now, lifestyle medicine.” excerpt from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417084115.htm

Several things caught my fancy, first of all, I wondered if this is where the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine” originated… turns out it’s not, apparently it appears in the bible  “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22 (New King James Version)

AND… then I got to thinking… what is mirthful laughter,  according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/ – mirthful is: gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied with laughter.  I laughed to learn that Mirthful Laughter is actually  redundant. 🙂

Hmmm what is my point.

I guess I’m just sort of mulling over another example of the power of our thoughts.  Laughter, like everything else, is a choice.  We can drive, bike or walk by the incredibly cute baby, kitten or puppy without giving it a second thought… or we can enjoy and laugh and smile at it’s adorable-ness.

We can decide to laugh at the expense of someone else or we can decide to lift them up and help them step ahead of us.

I prefer to view life as a comedy show rather than a competition.   I enjoy success… and I find it is much sweeter when it comes through happiness and joy.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.

– Groucho Marx

You are what you think.  The studies on mirthful laughter prove that you can change your physical attributes by focusing your attention, by your deliberate attention to happiness, abundance and joy and a good old fashioned belly laugh!

Make today amazing


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