Hearty Laughter

BigLaughingHeart2This morning, I watched the television news with my usual disconnected “attention.” When a Hopsital Job Fair headline displayed on the screen, my eye immediately caught the “hopsital” word and I laughed and laughed. I haven’t chuckled like that for a long time. It felt good, and I know it was good for my heart

Lately, I have been working too hard, sleeping too little, worrying too much. None of them are good for the heart. But laughter is. It gives mind and body a healthy workout. It boosts blood vessel function to improve blood flow, protecting against a heart attack and other heart disease.

Norman Cousins was a famous champion for laughter and its heart health benefits. As a professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, he studied the  disease-fighting properties of positive human emotions. He advocated belly laughs for pain relief and heart healing. He was famous for “taking daily doses” of Marx Brothers movies to prepare  him for restorative sleep.

Medical science has long known that hearty laughter produces endorphins, the body’s natural opioid pain relievers. As they move into the circulation, they spread relief throughout the body.

Today I plan to do my daily power walk and find something to read or watch I know will make me laugh, too. The movie My Cousin Vinny comes to mind. Every year, I try to watch it at least once to enjoy lots of laughs and a good story. Please share what causes you to laugh heartily so we can benefit from your heart health “prescription.”

RedHeartClosingSymbol Susan

4 thoughts on “Hearty Laughter

  1. Victoria October 28, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    Isn’t it great that something as small as a typo can get us giggling?

    I am an avid reader, and when I delve into my P.G. Wodehouse books, I find myself laughing out loud even if I am in public. No matter how many times I read about Bertie and Jeeves, I always laugh and laugh at the scrapes they get in and out of.

    Norman Cousins was so right – laughter can have a healing effect. As I start some minimal volunteer work at the local hospital soon, I think I might spend a little time on the internet looking up funny little jokes and so on, so that I can bring a smile to someone else’s face.

    Great post, as usual!


  2. SusanU October 28, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    Victoria, I love your observations. And I wish I had paid more attention to Norman Cousins’ message while he was still with us.


  3. BarbaraA November 9, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    I liked the ending to this post. I think that everyone would benefit from knowing a movie that makes them laugh. For me, it’s What About Bob? that’s about a man taking baby steps to improve his life.


  4. SusanU November 11, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Thank you for sharing the movie that makes you laugh. I am going to check it out.


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