In 1979, Norman Cousins, the editor-in-chief of the Saturday Review for more than three decades, was given six months to live. Despite a 1 in 500 chance of recovery, he beat the odds by living another two decades. He revealed how he did it in his bestselling book, Anatomy of an Illness. While the doctors administered medicine, Cousins decided to fight his illness with his attitude. He employed a simple strategy – laughter.
Cousins told his friends to call him every time they heard or did something funny. He watched comedies and listened to stand-up comedians. He also pulled pranks on the hospital staff.
There was one nurse who never smiled or laughed. In fact, she made him feel guilty every time he hit the call button. During one of her rounds, she handed him a specimen cup and asked for a sample. Instead of urinating in it, Cousins poured his apple juice in. When she came to collect the cup, the nurse said, “We’re a little cloudy today, aren’t we?” Cousins said, “Yep, better run it through again.”
He picked up the specimen cup and downed the amber contents. His nurse was shocked, but when he explained the gag, he finally saw her smile. He succeeded at making her laugh.
Cousins not only beat the odds. He lived another twenty years! After surviving his own ordeal, he began helping other patients who dealt with chronic pain. He always began his sessions by asking them to share one thing they were thankful for! Plus, he took to heart the wisdom of Solomon. “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” If he could get his patients to laugh, they noticed that their chronic pain was diminished and they always felt better.
So my advice to you today is find something to be grateful for and take every opportunity to laugh. (If you need some help try this website for corny Christmas jokes- I love this stuff! boyslike.org/features/24222/25-days-of-funny-christmas-jokes)
Have a great week!
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