CLIENT: Please help me, I’m addicted to the Internet.
HYPNOTHERAPIST: Why do you think you are addicted to the Internet?
CLIENT: I just find it more interesting than people.
HYPNOTHERAPIST: Hmm, we need to get to the root of the problem.
CLIENT: I agree. Can you hypnotise everyone else and make them more interesting?
We hope this made you laugh, or at least smile inwardly (maybe only hypnotherapists lol at this one!) for laughing doesn’t just make you feel good and bond you with other people, it is really, really good for your health. Dr William Fry of Stanford University explains it this way: “Laughter stimulates the production of alertness hormones, catecholamines. These hormones in turn cause the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins foster a sense of relaxation and well-being and dull the perception of pain.” According to Fry, laughter may help ward off heart attacks by easing tension, stress and anger. It may also help prevent the circulatory sluggishness that leads to strokes. Fry has suggested that laughter may even help prevent cancer by relieving depression.
You can’t feel anxious or depressed, sad or angry when you are laughing. Perhaps you are familiar with the story of Journalist/editor Robin Cousins from the book and TV movie of the same title “Anatomy of an Illness”. Robin Cousins was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and given a 1 in 500 chance of survival. After discharging himself from hospital, he checked into an hotel and watched continual episodes of Candid Camera and films of the Marx Brothers. He found that 10 minutes hearty laughter gave him two hours of pain-free sleep and eventually his disease went into remission. He laughed himself better? That’s quite a thought. Confirmation of the old saying – laughter is the best medicine?
We read a report about a Brazilian Health Centre where “laughter therapy” is prescribed for various conditions to do with hypertension, diabetes, stress and depression. Patients are encouraged to laugh out loud together. The same report claims that laughter therapy cuts health cure costs, burns calories, helps arteries and boosts blood flow.
One of the tasks we often give clients between sessions is to find things to laugh at. It is claimed that an average child laughs 400 times a day, whilst adults can only manage 11 times, at best. Laughing is easy and enjoyable; it creates psychological distance from our problems thus helping to shift our habitual frames of mind allowing us to see situations in a less threatening light.
So this month’s advice is to – laugh easily, laugh loudly and laugh a lot!
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed