Just saw the movie, Death at a Funeral, with Chris Rock. http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/deathatafuneral/ It was quite the enjoyable experience.
I haven’t laughed so hard in years. One scene in particular that has to do with a toilet left me laughing, laughing, and laughing.
Before I went into the movie I felt tired. It had been a difficult week. My stress level had been high. After the movie my entire body chemistry had changed. The fatigue had disappeared. My spirit was brighter. Laughter had improved my health.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Indeed if you don’t know it laughter may can protect you from a heart attack.
“Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.”
“The old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart,” says Michael Miller, M.D., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We don’t know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack.”
In the study, researchers compared the humor responses of 300 people. Half of the participants had either suffered a heart attack or undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. The other 150 did not have heart disease. One questionnaire had a series of multiple-choice answers to find out how much or how little people laughed in certain situations, and the second one used true or false answers to measure anger and hostility.
Miller said that the most significant study finding was that “people with heart disease responded less humorously to everyday life situations.” They generally laughed less, even in positive situations, and they displayed more anger and hostility.” Michelle W. Murray (from University of Maryland website: (http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm)
I know that the laughter had worked its charm on me. I felt better after getting out of the movie. I hope that my endothelium, the lining my blood vessels, had taken in a big dose of the laughter medicine.
If you’ve been feeling down lately and need a pick me up, consider checking out a movie that makes you laugh. You might want to pick up a joke book or find something else that makes you laughs.
Laughter is indeed a healer of the heart.