Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A Happy Joyful Heart does good, like Medicine

Last night I fancied watching a DVD and dug out an old movie, “Patch Adams” with Robin Williams in a true story of Hunter 'Patch' Adams, a doctor afflicted with 'excessive happiness'.

In some respects it is a feel-good movie. It is funny at times, touching, sad, controversial and thought provoking. I personally really enjoyed the film and certainly recommend it to those with an open mind.

Of course one of the main reasons why I like the film is watching the yet again brilliant performance of Robin Williams (although probably not as stunning as his performance in “Good Will Hunting”).

However, my main ‘hook’ in the film was the notion of the healing power of joy, humour and laughter.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. “
- Proverbs 17:22
- or like the Amplified version puts it: “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing”.

According to the University of ‘Maryland School of Medicine’, research suggests that mental stress is correlated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels, which can bring about inflammatory reactions potentially causing fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries.

Research also indicates that laughter enhances blood flow, whereas emotional states associated with stress are contributing factors to restricted blood flow in the arteries.

As laughter appears to increase the immune response and may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies, it also raises the amount of immune cells, plus laughter diminished the secretion of the body's stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine, and even seems to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.

That is on the medical research side, but when laughter is shared, it connects and bonds people increasing happiness and intimacy.

According to psychologist William James, “We don’t laugh because we’re happy. We’re happy because we laugh.”

I have a request, would you please share with me and other readers your favourite movies that made you feel good and gave you a good old laugh .... or even a full belly laugh?

Cheerfully,





499 comments:

1 – 200 of 499   Newer›   Newest»
Beth in NC said...

I haven't seen that movie, but just watching that clip makes me want to rent it!

More than any movie, watching a show we have here called "America's Funniest Videos or AFV" cracks me UP! For some twisted reason, I get really tickled when people fall down (as long as they aren't hurt of course). I also love a good comedian. There is a puppet master named Jeff Dunham who is hilarious, but he often uses a bad word here and there -- and that kindof ruins it.

Laughter is good medicine!

Love ya!
b

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