Quality of Life
You can thrive and enjoy life even though you have kidney disease. Look at the ways you can help determine how you view your life going forward. Determine if employment works for you as well as the benefits of staying active, your mental health, and staying socially connected with others.
Research suggests that laughter has positive effects on our bodies, both physically and mentally. For example, it can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, release endorphins, and decrease pain. Laughter can also help with anxiety and depression. Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, describes the benefits of humor and laughter while dealing with his own illness. Dr “Patch” Adams knew the benefits of laughter and started bringing laughter to his patients in the hospital years ago. The therapeutic benefits of laughter have been studied with people who have chronic illnesses and the benefits of laughter therapy are now being explored with CKD/ESRD and in some dialysis settings.
How can you add more laughter to your life and reap some of the benefits? Start watching funny movies that make you laugh out loud. Listen to recordings of people laughing – you may find yourself laughing too. In addition to adding more things that make you smile in your life, you can also add “intentional laughter’ for laughter wellness. This means you don’t have to be happy to laugh or find something funny that makes you laugh. Although your mind will know that you are not laughing at something funny, your body will not and it will reap the benefits of laughter. A positive attitude and a little time each day to have a few belly laughs or “ha, ha, ha moments” may provide pain relief, stress relief, and a more positive outlook. It’s free, can be done anywhere, and there are no negative side effects. Although it can’t cure kidney disease, it just might help with some of your symptoms or make treatment a little easier and have a positive effect on your quality of life.