On Your Health

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The Healing Power of Laughter and Happiness


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by Dr. R. Murali Krishna, retired president and chief operating officer, INTEGRIS Mental Health and James L. Hall Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit

Laughter and happiness play an obvious role in our mental health, but many people don’t realize the health benefits laughter can have on your heart. Dr. R. Murali Krishna, president of INTEGRIS Mental Health, takes a look at how science has proven that laughter and happiness impacts not only your mind, but your overall health.

I'm Dr. R. Murali Krishna, president of INTEGRIS Mental Health. I would like talk about laughter, happiness, and your health.

These emotions are very, very beneficial for human health. When you laugh, either for a joke or for no reason, your circulation improves by 22%, as University of Maryland Department of Cardiology study is showing to us. I can't think of a drug or a procedure that improves our circulation so instantaneously, not costing a penny, at the same time being available to us all the time.

Our genes contribute to 50% of our state of happiness, roughly. Only 10% of the happiness is contributed by the events that happened to us, unlike what we normally think. And 40%, a huge number, of our happiness depends on our volitional activities, what we choose to think, how we think, what our attitude is, what activities we want to be involved in, and how much kindness we have, and how our interactions with other people are. Those choices constitute 40% of our state of happiness.

A happy heart is a healthy heart, science is telling us. Have a nice smile on your face most of the time, even if you're doing the most mundane activities at your work. They'll have positive health difference for you. Good luck.

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