Thursday, December 13, 2007


One of the most morally difficult human-induced disaster is one with wich governments and law enforcement agencies have become increasingly familiar during the last two decades: political terorism and the taking of innocent hostages provides trmendous publicity for whatever cause they represent, a sense of personal martyrdom and heroism fot themselves, adulation from their followers, and a powerful negotiating of chip.
Terrorism in the modern sense is violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals. Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or "terror", are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Many definitions also include only acts of unlawful violence.
Understanding ho best to deal with hostage-taking terrorists has proved to be a difficult task that raises several important psychological - as well as moral - issues. Psychologists themselves ar divided on the bets course of action (Jenkins, 1983; Merari, 1985; Pruitt and Rubin, 1986; Baron and Byrne, 1988).
The most direct and obvious approach to a hostage taking is to use force to free those being held. The drawback, of course, is the danger to the lives of the hostages, either from the deliberate actionsof their captors or from the unintended action of their would-be rescuers. Although force has occatsonally been used - as with the Israeli commando rescue of airplane passengers being held in Entebbe airport in Uganda in the 1970s - in most cases the hostages are so heavily guarded that the possibility of loss of life is unacceptably high.

A second approach is to assume that the hostage's lives must be saved at ny cost. If this proposition is followed, the demands of the terrorists are met, within some limits, and they may be provided with publicity, freedom from jailed compatriots, money, or the opportunity to escape without punishment. Although this strategy often leads to the release of hostages, it has a major drawback. It provides a model to others would-be terorists, illustrating the success of terrorism.

A third approach is to refuse to deal with terrorists under any circumstances, no matter how many hostages have been taken. Accorting to this strategy, terrorists who are ignored by government authorities present models who are not rewarded, thereby decreasing the probability of modeling effects and ultimately reducing terrorism over the lng term. The disadvantage of such a policy, of course, is that it provides little in the way of hope or consolation for hostages and their families at the time of crisis, and it may in fact increas the likehood of injury or death at the hands of the terrorists.

There is, however, an intermediate approach in which negotiations between terorists and authorities would occurunder a total news blackout. Terrorists are thus deniedthe reinforcement of press coverage and are unable to act as models for others. Moreover, negotiatiors insist on the release of hostages, and terrorists are made responsible and are ultimately tried for any criminal acts such a murded and kidnapping. Authorities must then follow through by pursuing terrorists, trying them in court, and sending them to prison

The difficulty with such as approach is that it ignores many of the political realities of terrorism. For example, political leaders may face almost irresistable pressures to do everything in ther power to release hostages, especially when hostages make well-publicized, pitiful please to be saved. Furthermore, what is best in the long run may not be optimal in the short term. Clealy, dealing with terrorists is a difficult exercise for negotators - not to mention the torturou ordeal faced by the hostages theselves.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Online Listening

Our English lecturer wanted to improve our listening skills. So She suggested us listen to online podcasts. I have chosen two podcasts from Podcast's titles were "Author explains Mysteries of Music and the Mind" and "New Climate Solutions Sought as CO2 Levels Rise".

Firstly I would like shortly present what podcasts were about. First odcast was about music. Neurologist Oliver Sacks sais that music sometimes can remain in the brain long after other memories fade. Some people with limited language abilities can sing unimpaired. Oliver Sacks talks about his latest book, Musicophilia, and the way music affects the brain. Another one was about climate. Levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere are rising faster than predicted, researchers say. Also, carbon sinks — places that take CO2 out of the atmosphere — aren't absorbing the gas as well as they used to. Several new papers propose new ways to combat global climate change.

I am going to review podcasts by compating them. First topic was easier to me than second one. First, it was only 8 min 41 sec, while another one was 41 min 26 sec. Moreover, podcast about music was much moreinteresting to me. "New Climate Solutions Sought as CO2 Levels Rise" was also interesting especially of its topicality. There were many unfamiliar and unknown words but after second listening I understand more about what was spoken. So I listened both podcasts twice. I tried to write unknown words and look to the dictionary, however, sometimes I haven't get them. Unfortunately, there were any transcripts of listening and exercises to check myself after listening. What is more, in second podcast there was many speakers, that is why it was more difficult to understand it. Talking about level of English, I think it was advanced.

To sum up, it was quite easy to listen it because the language was fluent and the speakers were talking normally: not very quickly.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Psychology of Creativity

Creativity is closely linked to curiosity and exploratory behavior. It is also closely linked to sensation seeking – the desire to do new and different things. Why are people motivated to engage in creative acts? There are at least three reasons. 1) The need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation. One way to meet this need is to create or find new things that will stimulate our senses (for instance, new recipes, new art, or new cars) or challenge our intellects (for instance, new books, computers, or movies). 2) The need to communicate ideas and values. Concerned that children are dying of starvation, a photographer triggers our compassion with a picture of an emaciated child. 3) The need to solve problems. As we encounter new diseases or our business begins to fail, we search for answers that can give us hope.
Definition. A great deal of controversy surrounds the definition of creativity. Some writers have argued that creativity should be defined by problem-solving ability. By that definition, some of the world’s most famous paintings or novels might not be viewed as creative products. Other writers suggested that it is a personality trait. Such a definition suggests that some people are creative and others are not. Some writers have suggested a definition based on the production of ideas, which could exclude people who, although not good at producing ideas themselves, can recognize a creative idea or product when they encounter it.
All these various definitions offer useful ways of thinking about creativity. For our purposes, creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that can be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
Creativity is often viewed as a playful activity in which we allow ourselves to reorder or recombine things in new and different ways. Researchers who have studied creativity often point out that creative people tend to act in similar ways to children. Creative people seem to have a sense of disinhibition. People who have studied creativity and documented the mental processes used in creativity have concluded that creativity is mental phenomenon that results from ordinary cognitive processes. Nonetheless, evidence demonstrates that certain intellectual and dispositional traits are inherited.
Taken together, the existing research suggests that one of the main factors in creativity is motivation, so therefore, creativity is open to anyone who is willing to develop the resources that are important for creativity to occur. Creativity is often viewed as a flow experience; it is an experience that brings joy and happiness.
Personality and creativity.
For some time, researchers have argued that a dispositional personality leads to greater creativity. Over the years, numerous researchers have conducted studies in an effort to identify this style. The research indicates that the creative people are disposed to be independent, nonconformist, unconventional, and even bohemian in their ways. Further, they are characterized by wide interests, greater openness to new experiences, conspicuous behavioral and cognitive flexibility, and the tendency to take more risks. Finally, one study found that in addition to being more open to experience, creative individuals, as compared with controls, were more neurotic.
Numerous researchers have suggested that many people, although potentially creative, inhibit creative behavior because it conflicts with conventional or traditional opinions. People characterized by rigidity might inhibit creativity because of their strong need for predictability. The idea that all people are potentially creative is consistent with observation that, when the right condition exist, generally uncreative people will suddenly demonstrate that they can be creative and that creativity can be increased through rewards.
Creativity involves at least five important steps: defining the problem, gathering information and knowledge, constructing images or categories, synthesizing, and withholding judgment.
Major creativity contributions tend to be made in young adulthood, whereas minor contributions tend to peak at middle age. The evidence suggests that motivation changes with age. Research on birth order indicates that later-borns are more likely to be creative than first-borns are.

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
Walt Disney

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Graphology - an introductory guide to handwriting features

There are around 300 features - this introductory article attempts to explain some of the basic ones that can be readily understood and which give interesting information.

Right slant indicates a response to communication, but not how it takes place. For example, the writer may wish to be friendly, manipulative, responsive, intrusive, to sell, to control, to be loving, supportive, just to name some possibilities.
If the handwriting is generally upright, this indicates independence.
A left slant tendency shows emotion and reserve. This writer needs to be true to self first and foremost and can be resentful if others try to push for more commitment from them.
Handwriting is made up of three zones - or cases - middle, upper and lower. A basic average measure - or benchmark - by which size can be judged is 3mm per zone. This gives a benchmark for a non-remarkable full height of 9mm. More than this is large; less than this is small.
Large size handwriting can mean extravert and outgoing, or it can mean that the writer puts on an act of confidence, although this behaviour might not be exhibited to strangers.
Small size can, logically, mean the opposite. Small size handwriting can also indicate a thinker and an academic, depending upon other features in the script.
If the writing is small and delicate, the writer is unlikely to be a good communicator with anyone other than those on their own particular wavelength. These people do not generally find it easy to break new ground socially.
Heavy pressure indicates commitment and taking things seriously, but if the pressure is excessively heavy, that writer gets very uptight at times and can react quickly to what they might see as criticism, even though none may have been intended. These writers react first and ask questions afterwards.
Light pressure shows sensitivity to atmosphere and empathy to people, but can also, if the pressure is uneven, show lack of vitality.
upper zone or case (as in l, t, h, etc)
Tall upper strokes are reaching towards goals and ambitions or, if they are very extended, there may be unrealistic expectations of what the person feels they must achieve.
If there are reasonably proportioned upper zone loops, this indicates someone who likes to think things through and use their imagination in a sensible way. Wider upper zone loops indicate more of a tendency to dream up ideas and mull them over.
If the up-stroke goes up and then returns on top of itself, the writer may be squeezing out imagination and keeping to the basic requirement of getting down to the job in hand.
lower zone (as in g, y, p, etc)
Lower loops are also varied and have different meanings.
For example a straight stroke shows impatience to get the job done.
A 'cradle' lower stroke suggests an avoidance of aggression and confrontation.
A full loop with heavy pressure indicates energy/money-making/sensuality possibilities, subject to correlation with other features.
A full lower loop with light pressure indicates a need or wish for security.
If there are many and varied shapes in the lower zone, the writer may feel unsettled and unfocused emotionally. Again the handwriting analyst would look for this to be indicated by other features in the script.
word spacing
The benchmark by which to judge wide or narrow spacing between words is the width of one letter of the person's handwriting.
Wide spaces between words are saying - 'give me breathing space'.
Narrow spaces between words indicate a wish to be with others, but such writers may also crowd people and be intrusive, notably if the writing lacks finesse.
line spacing
Handwriting samples are always best on unlined paper, and particularly for exhibiting line-spacing features.
Wide-spaced lines of handwriting show a wish to stand back and take a long view.
Closely spaced lines indicates that that the writer operates close to the action. For writers who do this and who have writing that is rather loose in structure, the discipline of having to keep cool under pressure brings out the best in them.
page margins
The sides of the page each have a meaning.
The left side margin shows the roots and beginnings/family.
The right side shows other people and the future.
The top is goals and ambitions.
The foot of the page shows energy, instincts and practicality.
Therefore margins are very informative.
If the writer has a wide left margin, the interest is in moving on. If it is narrow, caution and wanting to avoid being pushed before they are ready is indicated.
Narrow right margin shows impatience and eagerness to get out there and on with things.
Wide right margin shows that there may be some fear of the unknown.
middle zone or case (as in a, c, e, etc)
These middle zone shapes can give some particularly interesting information.
The middle zone in the script represents the ego - from it we get a lot of information as to how the writer feels and acts in public settings - what makes them tick socially and at work.
Some people's handwriting consists of only one single style, but many people will have a mixture of two handwriting styles or more.
Again this provides useful information.
All of these features have potentially positive and negative connotations; the analyst uses the flow and facility (ease, smoothness) of the script to infer a positive or negative interpretation.
This means that the middle zone of the writing is humped and rounded at the top like a series of arches. It is in the basic style of copy-book, though it is not taught in all schools. Writers who use this can be loyal, protective, independent, trustworthy and methodical, but negatively they can be secretive, stubborn and hypocritical when they choose. The most important characteristic is group solidarity against outsiders.
Garland is like an inverted 'arcade' and is a people-orientated script. These writers make their m's, n's and h's in the opposite way to the arcade writer, like cups, or troughs, into which people can pour their troubles or just give information. The Garland writer enjoys being helpful and likes to be involved.
Angled middle zone is the analytical style, the sharp points, rather than curves, give the impression of probing. The angle writer, is better employing talents at work and for business or project purposes, rather than nurturing, which is the strength of the garland writer.
As with any indicators of personality style, the interpretation doesn't mean that each writer needs to be categorised and prevented or dissuaded from spreading their talents and interests, but the analysis can helpfully show where the person's strengths can be best employed.
Thread handwriting is like unravelled wool, waiting to be made up into something fresh. These writers are mentally alert and adaptable, but can also be elusive and lack patience. They are responders, rather than initiators. They can be very clever at drawing together strands of information and making something of them. Therefore they observe and bide their time, so that decisions are made at the most appropriate moment.
Wavyline handwriting is often an amalgam of all or most of the other forms and is usually written by people who are mentally mature and skilful. It shows that they can call on a variety of responses, to suit the occasion and indicates good coping mechanisms. They are adaptable and resourceful.

These features and interpretations provide a small but useful guide as to the way people behave, and particularly how they handle their social requirements. Check your own handwriting against these pointers to see what you can learn or confirm about yourself, and see also how effective even just a few simple graphology techniques can be in revealing personality style.
Understanding the personality through handwriting is a valuable way of making the best of both personal awareness and interpersonal situations for the benefit of all concerned.
The aim in using graphology to analyse a person's handwriting must always be positive. The interpretation should enable people analysed to use the understanding gained, to help them live their lives to the highest level of satisfaction that they choose. In a professional or organizational context, graphology can play an important part in enabling working relationships to be forged that will enhance the quality of the group or team performance.As a child you were taught to write, but it's not likely that you still write in the way you were taught. The fact that you don't helps to explain the reason graphology exists and why graphology can be used to interpret personality.


Graphology - the study of handwriting and handwriting analysis - is now an accepted and increasingly used technique for assessment of people in organizations. Handwriting analysis is an effective and reliable indicator of personality and behaviour, and so is a useful tool for many organizational processes, for example: recruitment, interviewing and selection, team-building, counselling, and career-planning.
Here is a free introductory guide to graphology, with examples of techniques that graphologists and handwriting analysis experts use to analyse a person's personality from a sample of handwriting.
Elaine describes graphology is 'brainwriting' - the handwriting comes directly from the writer in a uniquely personal and individual way, irrespective of how the person has been taught to write: an expert graphologist understands the styles of the different countries and languages and makes allowances for 'taught' influences. Also largely irrelevant to the actual analysis is the content of the written text. The science of graphology uses at least 300 different handwriting features in its investigative approach. The graphologist's interpretation skill is in the psychological art of understanding the particular blend of handwriting features - an expert is able to see the writer 'step off the page'.

graphology theory and history

A person's handwriting - the script - and its placing on the page express the unique impulses of the individual: logically, the brain sends signals along the muscles to the writing implement they control. By examining a handwriting sample, an expert graphologist is able to identify relevant features of the handwritten script, and the way the features interact. The features, and interaction between them, provide the information for the analysis. (No single handwriting sample will exhibit all 300 different features of course - a typical analysis will involve far less).
No single handwriting feature proves anything specific or absolute by itself; a single feature alone can only identify a trend. It is the combination of features, and the interaction between them that enable a full and clear interpretation.
Graphology is actually a very old and respected science - the study of handwriting and its analysis was first developed by the Chinese 3,000 years ago. The Romans used graphology, and through the centuries since then various civilisations and cultures have analysed handwriting to identify the essence of the person who produced it.
The modern approach to handwriting analysis was established by a group of French clerics, led by Abbe Michon, who defined key aspects of the science in the 1870s, after 30 years of study. This work formed the basis of modern graphology, although the science is still being researched and expanded today.
Professional graphologists operate to a strict code of ethics, and these experts are constantly in demand; those who use it recognise its value in the workplace as an additional method of understanding character. It is therefore an extremely useful tool in identifying the quality and capacity of an individual's talents and potential, particularly in career guidance and improving relationships. Like other powerful behavioural or intuitive models, it is not easy to explain how and why graphology works, nevertheless it continues to be used, respected and appreciated by many because it achieves a high level of results.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Types of Abuse

We tend to think of Domestic Abuse as physical violence or assault on a wife. In reality, however, domestic abuse is the summary of physically, sexually and psychologically abusive behaviours directed by one partner against another, regardless of their marital status or gender. Generally, then one form of abuse exists, it is coupled with other forms as well.
Domestik Abuse do not jus affect people of a certain race, age, gender or background, but knows no ethnic, cultural or personal borders.
Domestic abuse may also be defined by identifying its function, that being the domination, punishment or control of one's partner. Abusers use physical and sexual violence, threats, money, emotional and psychological abuse to control their partners and get theri way. Sometimes Domestic Abuse is better understood by it's effect on the victim than by the specific actions of the abuser.

Physical Abuse
Physical assault is the most obvious form of Domestic Violence, the most visible, and also the most lethal. Assaults often start small, maybe a small shove during an argument, or forcefully grabbing your wrist, but over time, physical abuse (or battering) usually becomes more severe, and more frequent, and cen result in the death of the victim.
Physical abuse is any act of violence on the victim, and can include the following: slapping, kicking, shoving, choking, pinching, forced feeding, pulling hair, punching, burning, beating, throwing things, use of weapons, reckless driving.

Where threats are made within an violent relationship they can be as debilitating as the violence itself. A victim who has already suffered being battered need not imagine the result of displeasing the abuser, or doubt the abuser's ability to carry out the threats. Even where the victim has not been physically assaulted, the abuser will often demonstrate his ability to harm her by punching walls or furniture, kicking the cat or dog, or using aggressive behavior.
However, many threats are not physical but part of the ongoing emotional abuse. The abuser may threaten to 'disappear' with the children, report his partner to Social Services as an unfit mother or 'have you locked up in an asylum", harm a significant third party (e.g. family member), refuse housekeeping, leave or commit suicide. Whether the threats are of a physical, sexual or emotional nature, they are all designed to further control the victim by instilling fear and ensuring compliance.
Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be defined as any sexual encounter without consent and includes any unwanted touching, forced sexual activity, be it oral, anal or vaginal, forcing the victim to perform sexual acts, painful or degrading acts during intercourse, exploitation through photography or prostitution.
The abuser my use violence to rape his partner (this is most common where physical violence is also current) or he may use only enough force to control his partner's movements (known as 'force-only rape'). Coercion or manipulation in the form of threats, emotional or psychological abuse may also be used, leaving the victim to submit to unwanted sexual acts out of fear or guilt. The abuser may, for instance, imply that should she not submit, he will hit her, leave her and find 'another woman', withdraw the housekeeping, or punish her in some other way. Or the abuser may insist on sex following a physical attack for the victim to 'prove' she has forgiven him. Whatever form of coercion is used, be it physical, financial or emotional, any sexual act which is not based mutual consent constitutes sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can involve any of the following: excessive jealousy, calling you sexually derogatory names, criticising you sexually ,
forcing unwanted sexual act , forcing you to strip, or forcefully stripping you; sadistic sexual acts, withholding sex and/or affection, making sex conditional on your behaviour or agreement to include practices you are not happy about, eg using porn or sex toys, minimising or denying your feelings about sex or sexual preferences, forcing sex after physical assault , using coercion to force sex, taking unwanted sexual photos, sharing these with other people/internet without your consent, forcing you into prostitution.

Marital Rape
When sexual abuse occurs within marriage, the victim will often feel very confused as to whether or not she has been 'raped'. It seems obvious to all (general public, law enforcement agencies, religious leaders, etc.) that when a woman (or man) is raped out on the street by a stranger, that rape has occurred and is wrong. When rape occurs within the marriage, neither abuser nor victim may consider it legal rape. This is partially due to the general acceptance of the Christian tradition within our culture which tells us that it is the wife's duty to fulfil her husband's sexual demands. Many women (both religious and non-religious) don't believe they have the right to refuse sex, that 'sex on demand' is an unwritten part of the marriage contract. When they have been raped by their husband, they are inclined to take responsibility for the abuse, furthering the feelings of guilt and lack of self-worth. This blame-taking is further increased by the abuser's justifications, e.g. 'it is your fault for saying no ...'. When no actual physical violence was used (i.e. coercion or force-only ) many men will deny that rape has actually occurred and treat the abuse as though it was normal and by joint consent. This has the effect of further confusing the victim as to the reality of her experience. Marriage, however, is a contract based on mutual love, respect and consideration. Each party has a right to their own body, and while consideration for each person's sexual needs is normal, forced sexual acts are not an expression of love, but a purposeful betrayal of the respect and trust which form of solid marriage.
Emotional / Psychological Abuse
Many forms of abuse are obviously cruel. Emotional abuse is more subtle. Quite often such abuse goes unseen, as even the victim does not recognize that she is being abused. Although emotional abuse does not leave black eyes or visible bruises, it is often more seriously damaging to your self-esteem. Emotional abuse is cruel and scars your soul. Physical or sexual abuse is always accompanied and often follows emotional abuse, i.e. emotional battering is used to wear the victim down - often over a long period of time - to undermine her self-concept until she is willing to take responsibility for her abuser's actions or behavior towards her or simply accept it.
There are many categories of emotional/psychological abuse. They encompass a variety of behaviors that will be easily recongisable by those experiencing them, and often remain completely unnoticed by others. they include:

The abuser will control whom the victim sees, where she goes, whom she speaks to and what she does. This can take the form of simply not allowing her to use the phone, have her friends round or visit her family, or ensuring it simply isn't worth it by being in a bad mood because she left some housework undone, making her feel guilty that she was out enjoying herself while he worked, or even encouraging her - theoretically - to make friends, and then discounting them or complaining that she cares more for her friends/family/hobby than she does him or is neglecting him. Some abusers may move home frequently to prevent their victim from building a social support network.
Many abusers justify their control over their victim by stating that it is proof of their love, or that they worry about their safety when out, etc. In reality however, the abuser needs to isolate his victim to feel secure themselves, they feel as though any relationship, be it family, friend or colleague, will undermine their authority over and take their partner away from them, i.e. poses a threat. The effect of this isolation is that the victim feels very alone in her struggle, doesn't have anyone with whom to do a 'reality check', and is ultimately more dependant on the abuser for all her social needs. Forms of isolation include: checking up on you, accusing you of unfaithfulness, moving to an isolated area, ensuring you lack transport or a telephone, making your friends or family feel uncomfortable when visiting so that they cease, demanding a report on your actions and conversations, not allowing any activity which excludes him, finding fault with your friends/family.
In extreme cases the victim may be reduced to episodes of literally becoming a prisoner, being locked in a room and denied basic necessities, such as warmth, food, toilet or washing facilities. Other family members or the perpetrators friend can also be used to 'keep an eye on' the victim, acting effectively as prison guards.

Verbal Abuse
When thinking of Verbal Abuse we tend to envisage the abuser hurling insulting names at the victim, and while this obviously does happen, there are many more forms than name-calling. The abuser may use critical, insulting or humiliating remarks (e.g. you've got a mind like ditchwater; you're stupid; etc.), he may withhold conversation and refuse to discuss issues, or he may keep you up all night insisting on talking when you need sleep. Verbal abuse undermines your sense of worth, your self-concept by discounting your ideals, opinions or beliefs. Verbal abuse can include: yelling or shouting at you, making threats, insulting you or your family, being sarcastic or mocking about or criticising your interests, opinions or beliefs, humiliating you either in private or in company, sneering, growling, name-calling, withholding approval, appreciation, or conversation, refusing to discuss issues which are important to you, laughing or making fun of you inappropriately, leaving nasty messages.
All of these abusive behaviors prohibit normal, healthy interaction between two adults as well as a lack of respect for individual thoughts, feelings, and opinions. A healthy, mutual interaction and conversation between two persons respects and promotes the right of each partner to their own individual thoughts, perceptions and values.

Financial Abuse
Financial abuse can take many forms, from denying you all access to funds, to making you solely responsible for all finances while handling money irresponsibly himself. Money becomes a tool by which the abuser can further control the victim, ensuring either her financial dependence on him, or shifting the responsibility of keeping a roof over the family's head onto the victim while simultaneously denying your ability to do so or obstructing you. Financial abuse can include the follownig: preventing you from getting or keeping a job, denying you sufficient housekeeping, having to account for every penny spent, denying access to cheque book/account/finances, putting all bills in your name, demanding your paychecks, spending money allocated to bills/groceries on himself, forcing you to beg or commit crimes for money, spending Child Benefit on himself.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Psychology of Laughter & Therapy of Laughter


Healthy, non-ridiculing and connecting laughter provides physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits you probably never realized or imagined.We are born with the gift of laughter -it's being serious that we learn.So, learn to laugh, and live, all over again.

Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter

Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California have been studying the effects of laughter on the immune system. To date their published studies have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being.

Laughter Activates the Immune System

In Berk's study, the physiological response produced by belly laughter was opposite of what is seen in classical stress, supporting the conclusion that mirthful laughter is a eustress state -- a state that produces healthy or positive emotions.
Research results indicate that, after exposure to humor, there is a general increase in activity within the immune system, including:
An increase in the number and activity level of natural killer cells that attack viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumor cells.
An increase in activated T cells (T lymphocytes). There are many T cells that await activation. Laughter appears to tell the immune system to "turn it up a notch."
An increase in the antibody IgA (immunoglobulin A), which fights upper respiratory tract insults and infections.
An increase in gamma interferon, which tells various components of the immune system to "turn on."
An increase in IgB, the immunoglobulin produced in the greatest quantity in body, as well as an increase in Complement 3, which helps antibodies to pierce dysfunctional or infected cells. The increase in both substances was not only present while subjects watched a humor video; there also was a lingering effect that continued to show increased levels the next day.

Laughter Decreases "Stress" Hormones

The results of the study also supported research indicating a general decrease in stress hormones that constrict blood vessels and suppress immune activity. These were shown to decrease in the study group exposed to humor.
For example, levels of epinephrine were lower in the group both in anticipation of humor and after exposure to humor. Epinephrine levels remained down throughout the experiment.
In addition, dopamine levels (as measured by dopac) were also decreased. Dopamine is involved in the "fight or flight response" and is associated with elevated blood pressure.
Laughing is aerobic, providing a workout for the diaphragm and increasing the body's ability to use oxygen.
Laughter brings in positive emotions that can enhance – not replace -- conventional treatments. Hence it is another tool available to help fight the disease.
Experts believe that, when used as an adjunct to conventional care, laughter can reduce pain and aid the healing process. For one thing, laughter offers a powerful distraction from pain.
In a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, patients were told one-liners after surgery and before painful medication was administered. Those exposed to humor perceived less pain when compared to patients who didn't get a dose of humor as part of their therapy.

Perhaps, the biggest benefit of laughter is that it is free and has no known negative side effects.

Laughter...who needs it ?
We all do !