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OTHER ITA SITES:
Humor Your Tumor
A managed care consultant dies and goes to Heaven. Frankly, he can’t believe his good fortune in being there, given the life he has led. But St. Peter checks the records and says, “There’s no mistake, you’re supposed to be here. See, it says right here that you are scheduled for Heaven...and you’re authorized for three days.”
There may be a lot to laugh about in the health care system these days, but as a patient, humor is probably the last thing on your mind. Getting a frightening diagnosis is stressful-emotionally as well as physiologically. However, humor could be just the thing you need to get you through this period.-Of course, there’s nothing funny about the fact that one has cancer.
But learning to find the light side of things that happen as a result of your cancer gives you a powerful tool to help you cope on a day-to-day basis. When you can poke fun at your stressors, you remove some of their emotional power over you. Humor helps you sustain an upbeat, optimistic frame of mind, even on the bad days. This more positive emotional state helps give you the resilience you need to cope with the next problem thrown your way. Your sense of humor also helps bring back some joy into your life.
There’s no evidence that humor and laughter add years to your life, but they certainly add life to your years. Cancer patients will often say: “If it hadn’t been for my sense of humor, I would never have gotten through the treatments, let alone the disease.” They note that finding a light side of things was essential to maintaining hope and determination to fight the disease.
Humor provides a sense of control over the stress that goes along with battling cancer by giving you more control over your daily mood. A good belly laugh also boosts your energy level on the days when you don’t want to even get out of bed. This is especially important, since most patients experience fatigue as a result of their cancer treatment. Finally, humor and laughter provide a means of “letting go” of the anger and anxiety.
Dr. Bernie Siegel has been reminding us for years that emotional factors can play an important role in battling disease. By sustaining a more positive mood, and reducing the amount of time spent in a state of anger, anxiety, or depression, you are playing an active role in mobilizing your body’s own health and healing resources. Your emotional state begins working for your health, rather than against it. Laughter is one of the most powerful and rapid means you have of replacing a negative with a positive mood.
Ian Gawler, author of Peace of Mind and an Australian doctor who has survived bone cancer for several decades, used the power of laughter to heal himself. There are many similar examples related in Cancer Free For Life where the author describes the amazing power of positive thinking and positive living for rapid healing of cancer. Watching funny movies and cartoons seem to have a healing and effective impact on cancer patients. They lift the mood and help strengthen the immune system, which through the laughter receives a message of joy and hope. Most stress can be alleviated with laughter, and this again helps the immune system concentrates its resources toward healing and scavenging cancer cells as opposed to reducing the impact of stress on the body.
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