The late Norman Cousins was a famous magazine editor of the Saturday Review and an acclaimed book author when, at midlife, he came down with what doctors believed was an incurable illness. Undiscouraged, Cousins began an exhaustive study of illness on his own. In the process, he proved to himself and others that laughter can be a major contributor to healing, since the flow of endorphins increases every time you laugh or feel good. To keep his endorphins flowing, Cousins watched every Marx Brothers movie he could put his hands on–anything to keep him in a positive frame of mind. It worked.
Cured miraculously, Cousins spend the last part of his life as a lecturer at the UCLA medical school. He was fond of telling his students that “the control center of your life is your attitude. Negative attitudes lead to illness, low self-esteem and depression. Positive attitudes lead to hope, love, caring, fun and endorphin flow.”