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You've heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine, well here are some of the health benefits you get from laughing:
Physical benefits of laughter

Boosts immunity
Lowers stress hormones
Decreases pain
Relaxes your muscles
Prevents heart disease
Social benefits of laughter

Strengthens relationships
Attracts others to us
Enhances teamwork
Helps diffuse conflict
Promotes group bonding
Mental benefits of laughter

Adds joy and zest to life
Eases anxiety and fear
Relieves stress
Improves mood
Enhances resilience
In reality however, when you have a serious illness, it is often difficult to laugh and identify those things that bring you joy.

I encourage you to take some time to compile a list of things that bring you joy and make you laugh. These lists are invaluable when you are having a bad day. Now from this list, you can expand on it to create your own personal laughter box. A laughter box is a bit like a toy box. Buy/choose a colorful box and fill it up with things that are fun and make you laugh, such as:
  • books,
  • movies,
  • happy photos,
  • magazines,
  • cut out cartoons from newspapers
  • favorite pieces of jewelry that lift your spirits,
  • momentos of happy times,
  • your favorite bar of chocolate/snack.
and keep adding to your box. Ask friends and family for their recommendations of good movies and books. Then when you have a bad day or are going for treatment, dip into the box and chose something to lift your spirits and at the same time, you'll be boosting your immune system.

Let me know what things work for you and we can share resources. Here are some movies to laugh at that you may want to add to your box:
  • What about Bob
  • Keeping Mum
  • The Closet
  • Caddyshack
  • Ghostbusters
  • Groundhog day
  • Mrs Doubtfire
  • Arthur
  • Quick change
  • The Valet
  • The dinner game
  • A fish called Wanda
  • La Chèvre
  • Kenny

Here are a couple of books that you may want to try (they are not all laughter, but great reads!):
  • Major Pettigrew's last stand
  • The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • The Language of flowers
  • The Postmistress
  • Cutting for Stone
  • The Elegance of the hedgehog
  • Little Bee
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter
E. E. Cummings
Or what about trying out some laughter yoga? Laughter yoga was the brainchild of Dr Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India. It combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing and many laughter clubs meet regularly all over the world. Find a group near you and give it a try. Click on this link for a Sonoma County Laughter yoga group that meets regularly.