Laughter is the Best Medicine
by Dr John Winsor - The Sunday Times of Malta


At least nine out of every ten illnesses are caused — or at least made worse — by stress, pressure and anxiety. It seems that the way we respond to problems and troubles can produce many symptoms of ill health. But although our minds can make us ill, they can also make us better and help us to stay healthy.

There are a number of ways in which you can use your mind to improve your health:

1. Laugh as much as you can. Laughter is a positive, natural phenomenon which helps by improving respiration, lowering blood pressure and ‘toning up’ the heart.

2. Don’t be cool or unemotional. Insurance companies in the USA have shown that if a wife kisses her husband before he goes to work, then he’ll be less likely to have an accident on the road. He will, on average, live five years longer than if she doesn’t give him a morning kiss.

3. If you feel sad, then cry. Research has shown that tears don’t just provide an important stress relief valve — they help the body get rid of harmful chemical wastes. If you suppress your natural instinct to cry, than you are increasing your chances of acquiring a stress-related disorder.

4. Anger is a killer. Diseases such as high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease are all common consequences of uncontrolled anger. Find a positive way to release it, such as through physical exercise or talking about your problems.

5. A lack of confidence can be very destructive, so build it up. You can do this by imagining that you are creating an advertisement for yourself, writing down all your good points. You’ll probably be surprised to find out how many virtues you have.

6. Smile as much as you can. We all respond to the face we see — for example, if you see someone yawn, you feel tired and if you see someone scowling, then you’ll feel cross. If people see you smiling, then they’ll smile back at you. They’ll like you, too.

7. Learn to assert yourself. In hospitals the patients who live longest are the ones who stick up for themselves. The same is true of life.

8. Boredom is one of the biggest killers in our society. Be prepared to take risks and chances to add excitement to your life. If you don’t take risks, you’ll never know what you can achieve.

9. Put purpose into life. By adding ambition, hope and purpose, you’ll give yourself new powers with which to combat the stresses and strains associated with frustrations, boredom and pressure.

10. Get into the habit of following your instincts. Practise first with minor decisions — what to eat and wear. You’ll be surprised at how good your unconscious mind is at making decisions for you.