Health Benefits of Humour, Romance, and a Positive Attitude
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Health Benefits of Humour, Romance, and a Positive Attitude,
We have all heard about the health benefits of love, laughter, and great attitude. Nothing beats a good old belly laugh to make us feel good, or a weepy romance novel with a happy-ever-after outcome to make us smile, or seeing someone maintaining a positive mental attitude through illness and difficulty.
-Funny books and movies have been proven time and again to cure nasty illnesses and lift spirits. Take the great Norman Cousins, who literally laughed his way to health. Cousins wrote the book, Anatomy of an Illness, detailing how he overcame Ankylosing Spondylitis and a massive coronary. In 1965, almost completely paralysed, Cousins was told he had just a few months to live. What did he do? Well he didn’t roll over and accept his diagnosed fate. No, he checked himself out of the hospital, began taking high doses of Vitamin C and spent his time watching a continuing stream of funny movies. Eventually his health improved and he went back to his job as editor of the Saturday Review and lived another twenty-five years.
Best selling romance author, Donna Fasano, tells how romance helped her through personal tragedy. At first, she became a reader of romance. “If it featured one man and one woman falling in love, I read it!” She mentions Silhouette romance novels, how short and sweet and uplifting they are. “Each and every story put a smile on my face, and the happily-ever-after endings boosted my spirits.” In answer to what kind of books does she write, she replies, “I write cotton candy for the mind.” She says she wants people to smile and laugh when they read her books and, as a best-selling author, I guess she has achieved exactly that.
In her blog entry, Why I Read Romance: The Healing Power of a Good Love Story, Bonnie Gold Bell tells how reading about love has been an effective part of her recovery from serious cancer. “Tales of passion helped make me whole again,” she notes, adding, “Of course you don’t have to be ill to benefit from the uplifting effect of reading romance. Love stories provide an inexpensive, non-pharmaceutical way to lighten your heart and make your senses sing.” She goes on to list six reasons why she thinks romance is good for the body and spirit. Go to: www.bellandtodd.com/2011/11/why-i-read-romance/ for the whole (uplifting) post.
We have all known someone who is very sick. My dear friend, neighbor and ex- work colleague, Anne, recently underwent breast surgery. It was a terrible time, things didn’t go completely as they should and her road to recovery was longer and rockier than expected. What I noted most throughout this period was not the strain and lethargy that might be expected following four bouts of surgery in almost as many months, it was my friend’s attitude – her majorly positive, bright, laughing, joyful and grateful attitude.
She could have been completely excused for moping, keeping people at arm’s length, and generally feeling sorry for herself but not once did I see any of this – and I live right next door. In fact, her positive attitude almost made it seem at times like what she had been through wasn’t really all that big a deal. I know different – I have seen the physical results of the four operations and would forgive her over and over and over for allowing her misfortune to consume her.
Instead, she has come out fighting and laughing, reading happy books, having girlie chats, showing her wounds (when no men are around) and poking fun at her lop-sided chest and swollen tummy. She has continued to live her life as a positive, glamorous, flamboyant, feminine, stunning woman who loves life and can still laugh at herself while displaying genuine compassion and empathy towards others’ illnesses and difficulties. Laughter, romance, and being surrounded by people with great attitudes are all health blessings when we have them in our lives. And they cost little or nothing. It cost me nothing to be around my friend, reaping from her amazingly positive attitude in the face of something all women dread.
Not long ago I picked up a book in a charity shop I volunteer in once a week. It cost me one dollar. It was from a series I’d heard about by Sophie Kinsella and looked like a light read – suitable for the wet weekend our forecasters had predicted. That weekend I nearly drove my husband mad with hysterical bursts of laughter (I’m like that when I read something funny – very noisy). After the first couple of chapters I was thinking surely she can’t sustain this for the whole book. But she could – and she did.
How did I feel after I had finished? Well, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another of the Shopaholic series. I have been as thoroughly entertained each time and it feels GREAT to laugh so uninhibitedly. I’m smiling now, just remembering. That’s got to be good for my insides. Surely.
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