About 35 years ago I was in terrible shape. More than three years earlier I had hurt my back running and since that time I had been in terrible pain and my life had ground to a halt. Doctors were at a loss to explain why I was still in pain. They gave me drugs that didn’t help and made me into a zombie.
I was in despair. I was being told by my doctors that I might be like this for the rest of my life. I was thinking about suicide. Fortunately, a friend recommended a book that changed my life. It was by a man named Norman Cousins, who was diagnosed with a painful, progressively crippling degenerative joint disease. Cousins was an educated, highly accomplished man. He couldn’t accept his doctor’s prognosis that his condition would continue to worsen until he died.
Cousins did his own research. He discovered that the will to live was really important in healing and he decided that for him what made life worth living was laughter. So he embarked on a program of “laughter therapy”. He found that 10 minutes of belly laughs gave him two hours of pain free sleep.
This was the first time I had ever heard that what was in my mind affected my body. I followed some of Cousin’s suggestions, including seeking out a treatment called biofeedback, and I was able to recover and resume my life.
Years later, scientists discovered that when we laugh our bodies produce substances called endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s own opioids, produced by the body to control pain. It is the cell receptors for endorphins that heroin and prescription opioids attach to in order to produce their effects. Unlike with those drugs, with endorphins you can’t get addicted and you can’t overdose.
So, for decades now, I’ve valued every opportunity to laugh. But good laughs can be hard to find, especially in the middle of a busy day. Recently, I discovered a solution available 24/7.
Six weeks ago I was fortunate to acquire a new car. The car came with a trial subscription to Sirius XM satellite radio. Sirius XM has over 200 stations, including five stations of standup comedy. And the comedy is often laugh-out-loud funny. My favorite is Laughs USA, billed as family friendly comedy. It’s comedy for grownups but without the raunchy stuff so often present in standup comedy.
Sirius XM can be played in your car. Most car radios after 2009 have satellite capability. If your car doesn’t, you can get an inexpensive plug in radio. But the best part is that you can also stream Sirius XM on any device that connects to the internet.
There are other cool channels too. Another favorite of mine is Spa, which plays only soothing, relaxing, commercial free new age music. You can also select stations that play only music from your favorite decade. There is some evidence to suggest that when you surround yourself with reminders of when you were younger, your body actually starts to reverse the aging process. So, try picking a decade when you were feeling great and immerse yourself in the tunes of that time.
What’s the price of this wondrous thing? Full price plans for both your car and your radio are $19.95 monthly plus tax and fees. For car only or internet only, it is $15.99 monthly. Trial subscriptions are as little as $30 for six months. Find out more by calling Sirius XM at 1-866-665-2846.*
*Please note, I have no financial interest in this company. Just letting everyone know about a good thing.