This chapter of my book deals with the relationship between happiness and health. Read it just for the health of it.
Think about spending a large percentage of your emotional day feeling negative. Think about spending most of your time around people who spend most of their lives being negative. It's not difficult to imagine a sinking, unhealthy response. Overexposure to negativity can make you feel sick. I believe it depletes your strength, making it more difficult for you to resist disease.
Now think about spending most of your day with people who relish the delectable dozen of positive emotions. It gives you a lift just thinking about it. Exposure to an abundance of positivity can make you feel well. Positive emotions add a certain quality that enhances every aspect of life.
"Laughter is a symbol for all of the positive emotions"
Laughter enhances every aspect of life and is a symptom of health and well being. It is a way of getting off the downward spiral of negativity. Laughter is so good for us that medical researchers have started to take it seriously. Many books and articles have been written on the subject. Some writers claim their sense of humour saved their lives. Without humour, I think we don't have much of a life.
Think back and remember people you have really liked. (Print this out and fill it in.)
I'll bet you mentioned "sense of humour" as one of the qualities attributed to most of the people you like. Humour isn't for everyone. It's for people who want to enjoy life and feel fully alive.
Laughing is healthy. A good long hard laugh is like internal jogging. It gets the heart beating faster, brings in extra oxygen and stimulates blood circulation.
Laughing activates the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. This results in the production of endorphines (internally produced morphine-like molecules) which makes us feel better. The whole body relaxes and disease fighting immune cells reproduce like crazy. With all these benefits, I think laughter should be prescribed by Doctors as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of illness and disease.
Norman Cousins wrote about his experience with life-saving laughter in Anatomy of an Illness. He believed that laughter, along with hope, faith, will to live, purpose, and determination can assist medical science in overcoming life threatening diseases.
Laughter won't prevent us from dying in the long run, but it may increase life expectancy. It certainly adds to the quality of life. If positive emotions are healing, we should be getting as much as we can.
What things do you do that you consider to be healing activities?
Ask yourself this question: "What do I still want to do before I die?"
Well, what are you waiting for!