Comics prove laughter really is the best medicine when it comes to mental illness

JOKING about mental illness may not seem the most obvious way of breaking down taboos and tackling discrimination.

But that is exactly what a group of comedians are hoping to achieve as Scotland battles to reduce the stigma around a problem which affects a quarter of the population. Yesterday saw the launch of Scotland's first Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

As well as films, debates and exhibitions, comedians are using humour to address what is still a very sensitive issue despite being such a massive problem. It is hoped that by doing so they can bring in a new audience and help to change attitudes to mental illness.

While humour is now being used to address mental illness, many top comedians have suffered their own very personal experiences of the problem.

Entertainers including Stephen Fry and the late Spike Milligan have suffered depression while maintaining high-profile careers.

Yesterday Raymond Mearns, one of the comedians taking part in the festival, said he thought comedy would make people listen to a subject they would otherwise ignore.

"It helps to add a wee bit of sugar to the medicine," he said. "If you ask someone to listen to a talk about depression, they will just say, 'That is too boring'.

"But if there is a bit of humour, a bit of comedy, people will be more willing to sit up and take notice. I think using comedy is a fantastic idea and I really believe in this project."

Source - Scotsman

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:00 am

    When you hear a cough you think of ill health. But hear a laugh and it implies good health and a positive attitude. But the laugh itself is more then just a feeling of happiness. Yes, a hearty laugh brings health and happiness in plenty. In addition to fun, joy and pleasure laughing provides numerous physical benefits.

    • Laughter boosts our immune system. So by laughing we become less susceptible to illness. In fact if we like laughing we can easily recover from illness. Laughter makes us physically strong. Laughter increases the count of antibodies in the system. We are well equipped, if we laugh often, to fight against diseases.

    • Laughter gives us the zeal to life. It makes us more confident and lively. Laughter activates the chemistry within us to face life with a positive outlook. Laughter improves our attitude towards life greatly.

    • Laughter relieves the tension from the body completely. A nice good laugh relaxes you and you feel afresh.

    • Laughter is a great exercise for your facial muscles. It is also a good workout for the diaphragm. Even your leg, back, abdominal and respiratory muscles get a nice exercise when you laugh. Abdominal organs get a massage as you laugh.

    • Laughter reduces the risk of stroke.

    • Laughter can be a part of your weight loss program. The reason is that when you laugh considerable amount of calories are burnt.

    • Laughter brings down your high blood pressure. When you laugh your breathing becomes deep. As a result oxygen enriched blood and the nutrients flow through the whole body. This improves over all health and proper functioning of the system.

    • If laughing is your habit it is more likely that the effect of arthritis on you is reduced to a greater extent.

    • Laughter balances digestive chemicals and it minimizes the risk of ulcer. Intestinal functioning is improved with every good laugh. Digestion and absorption functioning become healthy as you laugh.

    • A good mood minimizes the risk of heart diseases. Laughing people scarcely get heart attack.

    • Laughing can make you a genius. Yes, a happy and positive mental state enables your brain to function effectively. Laughter makes both sides of the brain to work. As psychological stress is reduced, with laughter, concentration and memory improves.

    In addition a whole bunch of physical benefits laughter offers other benefits that ensure good mental health. Laughing is a strong and powerful emotional medicine.

    • Laughter reduces stress and other stress related problems like depression and anxiety. Laughter decreases stress hormones in the body. A sweet little smile cools of your temper (and other’s as well!) and changes the mood completely.

    • Having a positive and happy attitude attracts others. With laughter you can make friends even with your critics.
    Laughter opens the door for socializing. This brings a great deal of positive changes in your life.

    • Laughter brings family and relatives close to each other. Even if you learn to laugh at the face of frustrating difficult situations, you can earn success, contentment and happiness. Laughter makes you see things in a different perspective and you get the emotional strength to cross the crisis at hand.

    • Laughter has a feel good effect on us, which sustains even after the laugh has ended.

    •Laughter helps to vent out our emotions and gives a sense of freedom and joy. Laughter imparts good behavior to us.

    • Laughter makes you more alert and more active. After a nice good laugh everybody feels full of energy and life. We are charged up and feel like turning even the impossible a possible.

    Laughter brings good health closer to you at no cost. To do this beneficial physical exercise you do not require any equipment or accessories. You need not join a gym to practice laughing. Bring laughter into your life. It will bring life to you.

    About the Author: Christopher McCombs and his team run a fitness and weight loss class known as Newport Beach Weight Loss. Chris owns Positively Fit Inc., providing personal training, fitness and nutritional support throughout Southern California. Learn more by visiting http://www.socalworkout.com/.

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