HomeHarry L. Mills, Ph.D.Joyce R. Mills, M.S.StressWellscriptsMindfulnessSelf-regulationHumorPurposeWisdom

OPTIMUMS IN HUMOR

brain.gifNorman Cousins, who was editor of the Saturday Evening Post, was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. However, Norman Cousins refused to surrender to his illness. Rather than accept the sterile and cold atmosphere of the hospital in which he was confined, he had favorite comedy films and humorous books brought to him.  He not only recovered but went on to be appointed to the faculty of UCLA medical school where he taught medical students about the "laughter cure" Dr. Lee S. Birk of Loma Linda University conducted a study of two groups. One watched an hour-long humorous video and the other a neutral video. After the session the presence of several hormones known to increase during the classical stress response were measured.  The levels were significantly lower for those exposed to the humorous video. Research suggests you are less affected by stress if you use humor in your daily life.  There are three mechanisms that explain this: 

·        Humor gives you a break from stress.
·        Humor replenishes your emotional resources.
·        Humor sustains you so that you are better able to persist. 

As you are reading this, smile. Let a full facial smile creep across your face.  If you need to think of something funny then do so.  But smile!  Now how do you feel?  Help patients find humor in everyday life: watch comedy on TV, collect cartoons, watch funny videos, keep a notebook of funny jokes and try being around other people who can laugh. Prescribe they initiate one humor event with staff or patients each day. 

For more on Humor go to Wellscripts.

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