Laugh Your Way to Good Health: The Many Health Benefits of Laughter
Everybody enjoys a good laugh, whether it’s from a TV program, a live comedy show, or because a friend did something amusing. When was the last time you took some time to relax and find something to laugh about? Not just any laugh, but one of those deep belly laughs that has you holding your sides or crossing your legs!
If you are among the many adults who have a hard time relaxing you’ll be surprised to know that there are real health benefits to laughter. Yes, it sounds rather crazy, but your favourite comedy show can do wonders for your health!
How Can Laughter Help?
Having a good laugh can trigger beneficial physical changes in your body.
When you laugh, your body releases endorphins into the blood system. Endorphins act like natural pain killers and are also responsible for making you feel happy. The best part is endorphins are completely free of any side effects it’s all natural! That’s why you feel a natural high after the right dose of laughter.
Laughing not only leads to a feeling of well being, but it can also do the following:
Boost your Immune system:
Laughter has a tendency to decrease the stress hormones, increase disease fighting blood cells and antibodies and thereby improve your resistance to disease.
Lower blood pressure
This cycle starts with the blood pressure rising when you start to laugh but then it decreases to levels below normal. When you take deep breaths while laughing, more oxygen-rich blood is transported quickly throughout your body. The function of your blood vessels is improved which in turn helps to protect your heart.
Reduce stress and increase your attentiveness, heart rate and pulse
When your heart rate and pulse is elevated, you’ll feel more energized. Of course, being more attentive can lead to better learning and growth.
Laughter as a Form of Exercise
When you throw back your head and laugh, you’re actually working your muscles from the hips to the shoulders. Since laughing involves taking in and releasing of air, the expelling of carbon dioxide and the intake of oxygen, your internal organs and core muscles get a good workout every time you laugh heartily. It may sound silly, but it’s true. A good laugh relieves physical tension and stress leaving your muscles nicely relaxed.
Have you ever heard of laughter yoga? It’s a form of yoga class where you perform the regular stretches while getting silly to induce laughter. Activities range from imitating animals to speaking in gibberish. If you think this sounds odd, you’re right. It is! But we have to stop taking life so seriously and start having fun!
Improve Your Emotional Health with Laughter
Everyday you’re faced with challenges and it’s completely up to you how to confront them.
You can choose a positive attitude or a negative one. Laughing when faced with a challenge can help lift your mood (as well as those around you) and maybe you’ll be able to view the challenge in a positive light. This will help you reduce the stress and get things done quicker.
Laughter is generally followed by a sense of relaxation, hence it’s a good form of stress relief.
Use laughter as a way to reconnect with your family, especially during troubling times. When you laugh you generally talk more, make direct eye contact, and even get into closer contact.
Laughter dissolves painful emotions. It is difficult to feel anxious, angry or sad when you are laughing
Humour can shift perspective. You can view things in a more realistic and less threatening light. Seeing the funny side of a situation creates psychological distance which can help to avoid overwhelm.
Relationships can be strengthened by the use of humour and playful communication. Humour tends to strengthen relationships by triggering positive feelings and encouraging emotional connection. Laughing together creates a positive bond, and this can act as a strong buffer against the stresses of life.
So think how you can introduce more humour into your life. Could you bring more humour into your writing and blogging? Post more cartoons and jokes. Give it a go and see if it increases engagement with your audience.
If nothing else it will be good for a laugh (as the saying goes). LOL