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Monday, 28 November 2016 00:00

Make ‘em laugh for goodness sake

Do you believe in mind over matter? Do you have a positive attitude?
 
It might sound like something you would expect to hear booming over the loudspeakers at a “get rich quick” seminar, but don’t dismiss the wisdom of the statement. While research hasn’t proven that laughing will put more money in your bank account, thinking and acting in a positive way has been proven to have a remarkable effect on your health. 
 
In the late 80’s people believed that thinking positively and laughing a lot could even cure cancer. While this was disproven in a number of studies a few years later, changing attitudes definitely helped patients with a number of illnesses and ailments to better cope with their diagnoses, and improve the quality of their lives. 
 
When it comes to seniors, laughter is the best medicine
 
The elderly are often represented as being grumpy and constantly complaining but this may not be their fault. There is a high loneliness epidemic amongst the elderly of our society and very often they are quite literally “not amused”. This means that being grumpy and in pain may be a direct result of not having any engaging company. 
 
When we laugh, our stress hormones decrease and our immune systems are boosted. It also increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. The endorphins that race through our bodies are temporary pain-relievers and give us a sense of well-being by reducing anxiety levels. 
 
So the next time you see your elderly neighbour or relative who seems unapproachable, do them a favour and have a fun light-hearted conversation. Ask them about their past, get them to tell a funny story by sharing one of your own. This meaningful act will lower their anxiety, help them forget about their pain and will make you both feel great.  

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