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A Happy Joyful Heart does good, like Medicine

Tuesday, 16 June,2009

The other day, I 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.

laughing belly laugh 50%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?



Did you find this post inspiring, informative, or interesting? Would you like to read more on this subject? Please let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I find it such joy to read encouraging and loving words!

God bless!

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE OR BLOG POST IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

The Journey Of Intimacy – Angelika Regina Heimann BSc( Hons), MSc BPsych, is a NLP Practitioner, Business Psychologist and Psychosexual Educator, based on Positive Psychology, Mind Technologies and Christ-Centred Spirituality – an Invitation to Hope, Healing, Growth, Joy and Bliss.

Rev. Heimann combines Christ-Centred Spirituality with Positive Psychology to assist couples or individuals seeking her advice to discover their unique personal inner strengths, build their faith, wellness, well-being, and happiness: mentally, emotionally, sexually and spiritually, to facilitate growth, and learn skills to build positive emotions, optimism and resilience while decreasing unhelpful thinking, behaviours and emotions.

To read more articles and personal diary posts go to The Journey Of Intimacy Blog

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