Norman Cousins was an Editor, Author, and Philosopher who found his young life plagued with illness. In 1964, he was diagnosed with a deadly connective tissue disease and ankylosing spondylitis that left him paralyzed and in excruciating pain. The doctors gave him no hope, but he had been studying how emotions affect the body’s biochemistry and decided to try something radical. He checked out of the hospital where death hung in the air like the black fog from a diesel engine.
Instead, he checked himself into a quiet hotel room where his doctor would visit him in a peaceful atmosphere. He was in extreme pain and sleep was rare. Then the nurses would routinely wake him and disturb him even more. Here in this peaceful place, he could sleep. Pain pills wouldn’t touch his pain. At one point they were giving him 36 Aspirin a day!
In desperation, Cousins started laughter therapy and found that if he could really laugh for ten minutes he would have two hours of pain free, peaceful sleep. This encouraged him to continue even though the act of laughing was terribly painful. With this routine and keeping himself in a restful environment Norman began to improve. The doctor added massive doses of vitamin C to his health regimen and Norman walked out of that hotel. This was impossible because his spine was supposed to fuse together and he was going to have to choose between sitting or laying flat on his back for the rest of his life. Instead, he carved his own path and now laughter therapy is a well known, scientifically documented reality.
Read more about this amazing story in his book
Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient
Humans have a hidden superpower. With it we can both create and destroy. In most people it is raw, unfiltered and troublesome. But, if we could train it and hone it to perfection, it is powerful enough to change the world.
There’s a wise old saying that says, “for as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” What does that mean, exactly? It means you become what you think about regularly. Your consistent thoughts become your actions, and your actions change the reality around you. I know this sounds like a bunch of hoodoos, but I promise you there’s science behind it.
What if we trained our minds to create instead of to destroy? We could change the world with one mind at a time.