I would like to talk to you regarding something that soothes tension, strengthens your immune system, relieves pain, improves your mood, and has many other benefits. It is an amazing immune boosting mechanism and a cure to many diseases. It is absolutely free. And I am addicted to it!
What is it? It is laughter.
Not that laughter needs an introduction… 🙂 We all laugh. Some people may laugh more than others, but it is a universal human trait. It feels really good and brings all kinds of people together, sometimes even those that didn’t get along.
We laugh at situations, jokes, at times, at ourselves, when we feel good. We can also laugh sarcastically, nervously, when we are stressed, all of the above or even for no reason at all.
Laughter establishes a sense of connection between people. It brings people together. It actually improves the quality of your relationship, if you incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions.
That doesn’t begin to tell the story of what laughing does for us. But on top of everything laughing is medically beneficial as well.
Many times we have heard that laughter is the best medicine. And there’s lots of evidence to support that. There are numerous studies that have demonstrated the beneficial effects of laughter. As the philosopher, Bertrand Russell once said: “Laughter is the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug. Laughter is universal medicine.”
Norman Cousins, a journalist and a professor developed his own “treatment,” based on mood elevation through laughter. According to Cousins, “ten minutes of laughter resulted in two hours of pain-free sleep.”
Now, let’s talk about some of the benefits of Laughter:
Laughter Can Reduce Stress
Laughter relaxes the whole body, relieving tension and stress. It has been shown that following a good laugh, muscles in the body are relaxed for up to 45 minutes afterward. Laughter actually calms stress hormones. It stimulates multiple physiological systems that decrease levels of stress hormones. Laughter eases tension and is a great antidote to a stressful situation.
Laughter Can Relieve Pain
It’s easy to laugh when you are well, but studies suggest that laughter can also be used for pain, something early physicians seemed to understand. As early as in the 14th century, surgeons used humor to distract patients from the pain of surgery, to cope with the pain, and to help them recover after. We feel better when we laugh because endorphins reduce physical and mental pain. Groucho Marx once noted that “A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.” The bottom line is laughter reduces pain and allows toleration of discomfort.
Laughter Can Reduce Anxiety
Humor can definitely be a form of escape. It allows the expression of happiness and the release of anxiety. And if you want to be proactive – it guards against anxiety.
Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
Laughter Improves Your Mood
Laughter also helps to create a positive mood. It is one of the most powerful tools you have, to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.
Laughter Boosts Your Immune System
Studies have shown that laughter boosts the immune system, and responsible for defending the body against infection.
Laughter May Reduce Blood Pressure
When you are laughing, respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure temporarily rise. This leads to oxygen to flow through the bloodstream that results in lower blood pressure.
Laughter is Good for Cardiovascular System
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughing Can Help Burn Calories and Lose Weight
As if all of these benefits above aren’t a good enough reason to giggle every day, this one is a cherry on top. Who wouldn’t like to shed the extra pounds off by having fun and laughing?! 🙂
Apparently, good deep laughter can lead to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption, which are very similar symptoms to what happens during your exercise.
Other benefits of laughter are:
- Laughter reduces blood sugar levels,
- Laughing may act as a natural antidepressant
- Laughter increases personal satisfaction
- Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations
- It is great for social bonding. It also helps you connect with other people.
When was the last time you had a really good laugh? Laughing needs to be part of your daily routine not just to improve the quality of your life, but to make yourself healthier as well.
How can you bring more of this into your life? Here are some ways:
- Smile – It is contagious! And it is the beginning of laughter.
- Move toward laughter: When you hear people laugh – join them. People are very happy to share something funny.
- Spend time with fun, playful people as much as possible: Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious!
- Bring humor into conversations: Ask people: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today; this week; this month; etc?
- Laugh at yourself: If you don’t know how to – learn. The quality of your life will drastically improve. Share your embarrassing moments and laugh at them. Laughing at oneself also encourages healing.
- Find something positive in every negative: Ask yourself: What was funny in that situation that I haven’t noticed? Look for the humor in any situation. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you. Many things are beyond our control, so make the best of a situation and find the positive and funny aspects in every situation.
- Surround yourself with funny reminders: photos, screensavers, notes, calendar reminders, etc. There are so many different ways to remind yourself to laugh and have fun.
- Challenge yourself: Set a goal of laughing and smiling at least 15 minutes every day. Then move up to 30 minutes. Whatever works for you 🙂
- Practice laughter yoga: It involves breathing exercises and forcing yourself to laugh. This forced laughter soon turns into genuine laughter.
- Watch something funny.
- Read something funny.
- Call your friend and talk about something funny.
There are so many ways to bring laughter and humor into your life. Laugh as much as you can. Reduce your stress. Help others reduce their stress. Making one person smile can change their world. Infect others with your laughing.
Laugh at yourself, and if you can’t laugh at yourself – call me, I will laugh at you. 🙂 As many benefits as it has, on top of everything, laughter may just be the best medicine on the market today.
Keep smiling! There is always a reason to smile, you just have to find it!