Take a healthy dose of laughter every day

Goldie Hawn is one of my favourite actresses, and I’m not alone in my tastes. She is not only an Academy Award-winner, but she does fun movies that anyone can enjoy.
So when Hawn recently gave a speech in Cincinnati on the topic of laughter, the national and international media covered the event.
She was the keynote speaker for the international conference on “The Positive Power of Humor, Hope and Healing.” Her topic was “Laughter Is the Jest Medicine.”
Dr. Joel Goodman, who went to high school with Hawn, presented her with the U.S. National Humor Treasure Award after her speech.
In her presentation, Hawn talked about growing up in Maryland, where she was an average student with just two best friends. After Maryland, she went to New York City to pursue a career in show business.
She began by doing the can-can in a bar in New York. Then her big break came when she landed a part on Andy Griffith, where a talent scout spotted her and she was chosen for “Laugh In.”
Her career was in high gear, but Hawn was unhappy.
“It was a time when people were asking for my autograph, and I didn’t even know who I was. Getting fame, fortune, and money is supposed to make people happy. But sometimes it’s just unsettling.”
As a result, she suffered from depression and anxiety. Finally, after years of therapy, Hawn discovered the healing power of laughter.
Now she wants to give the gift of laughter to other people. She currently is creating a “Traveling Museum of Laughter.” The goal of this exhibit is to entertain, but also to educate the public about the scientific, physiological, and emotional effects of laughter.
Hawn said, “When you go to sleep at night, ask yourself, ‘How many times did I laugh today?’”
She concluded her speech by making the audience laugh for 15 seconds.
“Laughter is no laughing matter,” Hawn stressed. And she was right! Laughter lowers blood pressure, exercises the lungs, and makes more “good cells that eat the bad cells.”
Researchers tell us that laughter also aids in digestion and improves blood flow to all major organs, including the brain. It helps your immune system fight off colds, gets rid of fatigue, burns calories, and fights depression.
Research has shown that 100 laughs are as good for you as 10 minutes on a rowing machine or a 10-minute jog.
And Dr. William Fry, a clinical psychiatrist who has been studying humour’s effects on the body since 1952, says 20 seconds of intense laughter can double the heart rate for three to five minutes—even if the laughter is faked.
The average child laughs 400 times a day, compared to adults who laugh an average of only 15 times each day.
So why not take a lesson from children and follow the advice of Goldie Hawn. Laugh.
Laugh at yourself. Laugh with other people. Laugh at old sit-coms. Search for jokes and share them with your friends. Laugh at the comics. Laugh at funny things that happened years ago.
Laugh out loud, and spend more time with people who love to laugh.
In only seconds you could lighten your mood and lower your blood pressure.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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