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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Power of Mirthful Laughter

Mirthful laughter, once you have experienced it you want more. Say what! Mirthful laughter is positive and friendly, caring and empathetic, sensitive, constructive, supportive, inclusive and creates bonds. It leaves you feeling optimistic, less stressed, relaxed and helps to keep us healthy. Just the mere anticipation of mirthful laughter has been shown to reduce the levels of three detrimental stress hormones, cortisol, epinephrine and dopac. A constant release of these stress hormones can be harmful to your immune system. A recent study of 20 high risk diabetic patients were divided into two groups. Group L (laughter) and Group C (control). The researchers followed the groups for 12 months. Both groups were given the standard medication for diabetes. Their blood was tested for the stress hormones. Group L watched comedy videos of their chosing for 30 minutes daily while Group C only received the medication for diabetes. By the end of the second month Group L had lower stress hormones suggesting lower stress levels. Plus Group L increased their good cholesterol and had lower levels of inflammation. At the end of the twelve months,Group L had increased their good cholesterol by 26% wile Group C showed a mere 3% increase. The researcher concluded that a daily dose of mirthful laughter coupled with the standard medication for diabetes may lower stress and increase good cholesterol. Another important finding of this study was that mirthful laughter may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease often associated with diabetics. So in conclusion, a daily dose of mirthful laughter is worth a "shot" for patients with diabetes.