What appears in the media as amazing new discoveries in psychology and health sometimes is really just old news being recycled. Take for example, the announcement of a study that was recently found in the United Press International. The article was on a paper which was presented at the Experimental Biology 2006 Conference, which indicated that even anticipating watching a funny movie may be beneficial to our health. Dr. Lee Berk, from Loma Linda University, reported the results of a study on the effects of humor on health using sixteen young males who were divided into two equal groups. Eight of the male subjects were told that in three days they were going to watch a comedy video while a group of eight comparable males was not provided with any information about the video. Just prior to viewing the video, all of the subjects were tested for Endorphins (a natural pain killer) and Human Growth Hormone levels, HGH (HGH is prevalent during growth and healing). The males who were pre-warned had 27percent more Endorphins than the control group, and they had 87 percent more Human Growth Hormone than did the control group.
This article reinforces the belief that humor and laughter can be good for us and that even the anticipation of experiencing a fun time may be beneficial to our overall well being. This is clearly not new knowledge. The concept that humor and laughter are good for our health has been around since the time of the Bible. In Proverbs 17:22 it was stated, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Immanuel Kant, a philosopher who lived between 1724 and 1804, stated, "Laughter produces a feeling of health through the furtherance of vital bodily processes." Robert Burton, English Clergyman and writer, who lived between1747-1825, said "Humor purges the blood making the body young, lively and fit for any manner of employment." Victor Borge (1909-2000), a comedian, stated, "He who laughs last, lasts." And of course, Alfred E. Newman, Mad Magazine, always said, "What, me worry?"
What does this all mean? Repeatedly, the research findings of many studies seem to identify a constellation of simple concepts. Basically, good common sense in dealing with people and emotions, reasonable living styles, moderation in all things, and finding satisfaction in everyday activities can make one's life better. Yes, life can be complicated and more difficult at times, but if one has a positive outlook and one seeks out happy situations and happy people, you can weather the storms better and live a longer and healthier life.