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Get Happy by Helping Others

Dr. Bernie Siegel is a physician and a spiritual healer. Sharing uplifting thoughts about the healing power of love and laughter, Siegel celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with Fairfield’s Happiness Club this week.

More than 75 people turned out Thursday night to hear Siegel recount humorous anecdotes for finding hope and peace in one’s life.

"You cannot be afraid when you’re laughing,” Siegel stated. “Fear and laughter don’t go together. And, if you stay in fear, you can’t heal. Your stress hormones go up and your immune system goes down.”

His first book “Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon’s Experience with Exceptional Patients,” published in 1986, stressed the need for self-love, forgiveness and a positive attitude in dealing with disease. However, Dr. Siegel also firmly believes that illnesses could be prevented through unconditional love, sharing one’s feelings truthfully and serving others. “You love your life and your genes get the message,” Siegel noted.


For Siegel, peace is the way to happiness. It’s also the path to maintaining health and wellness. He cautioned people about saying "Yes" when they want to say "No."

“Do what will make you happy. Imagine growing up listening to your feelings,” Siegel advised.

Some young people are not so fortunate. They’ve been brought up in physically, verbally and sexually abusive homes. Siegel shared stories of teens who wanted to commit suicide. While speaking at high schools, Siegel often instructs students to write a love note or suicide note. “The pile of suicide notes is always higher,” he explained. “Does the suicide rate go up by implementing this exercise? No, the opposite happens. When the students see how high the pile for the suicide notes is, they realize that they’re not alone.”

This is the beginning of the healing process. “We’re all one family; we’re all connected,” Siegel stated, matter-of-factly.

During his talk, held at Osborn Hill School, Siegel said, “We are all going to run out of time, so enjoy your lifetime.”

Siegel said that each day everyone can make the decision to be happy. “Life is about beginnings, and if you keep beginning, you’ll be happy.”

Happiness - and a life filled with laughter - keep people healthy. “It affects your body’s chemistry,” he stated. “If you’re not happy, rehearse and behave as you would like to be. Act like you’re happy.”

Every morning, Siegel recommends spiritual practices that incorporate gratitude, confession, intercession and petition. He said, “We need to ask ourselves, what am I grateful for, what do I want to change, and what do I want to pray for today.”


For more information about the Happiness Club, go to For more information about Siegel, go to


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