LAUGHTER THE BEST MEDICINE (Norman Cousins)

 

Hakuna matata roughly translates to “there are no troubles” in Swahili. The phrase was popularized in English by the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King, where it’s translated as “no worries.” It has a connotation of not worrying about things outside a person’s control.

 When a person laughs, many good things happen. Muscles relax, breathing is deeper, and the blood stream is more oxygenated. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline). It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, dopamine and growth hormones. Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.

An interesting story is told about how laughter can be uplifting in a tense situation. In September of 1862, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, called a special session of his closest advisers. When they arrived, he was reading a book. At first, he paid little attention to their entrance, then started reading aloud a piece by the humorists Artemus Ward, which Lincoln found very funny and laughed heartily at the end. However, no one joined in. The cabinet sat there in stony disapproval of the president. Lincoln then asked them, “Why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I shall die, and you need this medicine as much as I do.”

When you laugh, the Universe laughs with you.

LAUGH AT LIFE AND ALL LIFE CAN DO IS LAUGH BACK AT YOU.

FEAR LIFE AND LIFE WILL GIVE YOU FEAR IN RETURN.

The next time you are stressed, LAUGH with those who can LAUGH with you, at you and at themselves and feel  the magic.

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