Sunday, September 18, 2011


Be Thankful … Live Longer


by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

     Two Israeli doctors just proved that some of us have been right all along! Their studies involved the natural release of serotonin in the brain which makes people happier. [i]

     They have shown that a larger amount of serotonin is being released into the synapses in the brain when a person smiles or says “thank you.” And that laughter and humor are also proven to make people healthier. One of the studies with more than 800 male subjects with heart disease showed that the happier and more optimistic men had 20 percent more chances of staying alive longer than the pessimistic ones.

Besides; smiling, laughing, humor, and optimism, they discovered:

1. Hug a person at least 4 times a day. A warm touch with another person has positive physical effects on both the giver and receiver. (Hum, those huggy-kissy minyans {quorums} are right after all.)

2. Say, ‘Thank you’ even for the smallest things. It makes more synapse connections in your brain and improves your attention skills. (Thank G-d!).

3. Keep in close touch with your friends. Heart attack survivors are 40 percent less likely to suffer another when they have a close circle of friends. (Maybe this is why people who daven {pray} regularly with a minyan live longer?)

4. Eat cashew nuts, avocado, whole wheat, sweet potato and spinach. They increase the serotonin in your brain. (The veggies win again.)

5.  Get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping balances the neurons in the brain back to their normal level. (When’s the last time you had this much sleep in one night?)

Gutman adds: Whenever you want to smile see, G-d Said, "Be Happy."

[i] Serotonin release is a natural biochemical reaction and is often used in anti-depression pills.


  1. Is it a proven fact that people who daven in a minyan live longer?

  2. A Hebrew University study found recently that adults who attend synagogue regularly live longer than those who do not attend synagogue. The research was conducted by Professor Howard Litwin of the Israel Gerontological Data Center (IGDC), and was published in The European Journal of Aging.
    The study’s data showed that the death rate was 75 percent higher among the group that did not attend synagogue than it was among the group that attended synagogue regularly. “Those who attended synagogue regularly clearly had the highest rate of survival," said Litwin.

    The Talmud in tractate Berachot 8a, coincidentally, makes a similar statement: "R. Yehoshua ben Levi said to his children, ‘Go early and stay late in shul in order that you should live a long life.’"

    The study was based on a 1997 Central Bureau of Statistics survey in which 5,000 Israeli men and women aged 60 and above were interviewed about their way of life.


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