You have no doubt heard laughter is good for you but do you know just how good it is?
There are numerous health benefits to be gained from a good old belly laugh. Many of them aren't available in a vitamin pill or other activities. Try for yourself with a good laughter session; it just might be fun.
Stress hormones such as cortisol, dopamine and adrenaline are reduced during laughter which can cut down anxiety and stress that can take a toll on your body. Serotonin and endorphin production can increase which help with stress reduction. Deep, restful sleep is easier when you are less stressed during the day. Laughter can lower your baseline blood pressure which cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Laughing can be a workout for your heart as it gets the blood pumping and can even burn a similar number of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.
Laughing activates T-cells which help fight off sickness. The increased immune cells and antibodies that fight infection are your best defence against illness.
Endorphins which are known as nature’s pain killers, are released during laughing which can give you temporary pain relief.
Ever felt your abdominals ache after a good laughing session? Laughing can tighten your abdominal muscles as they have had to expand and contract. Other muscles that may be tight from a stressful situation relax during your laughing.
Laughter can only help promote a positive outlook on life. There is plenty of research to show that a positive outlook can assist with healing and fight disease and even live to a ripe old age. So be mindful of finding ways to enjoy a laugh every day.
Finding your Funny
There is no doubt plenty of things that make you laugh; you just need to find one or two techniques you can use. You could try subscribing to a few YouTube channels with video clips that give you a good chuckle. Find good books or movies that you can read or watch over and over that you will still find funny.
If you can’t see the fun in laughing on your own then maybe group laughter may be for you. Get together with a group of friends that enjoy a good joke or retell funny stories from your past.
Hasyayoga (laughter yoga) involves prolonged voluntary laughter to gain physiological and psychological benefits. Do some research in your local area to see if there is laughter yoga or a laughter club where people use laughter as a form of exercise.
Laughter therapy is being used around the world by cancer and other seriously ill patients to relieve physical and emotional stress. Laughter can help bond a group of people together whether they are colleagues or strangers in a community coming together.
It doesn’t matter what you find funny or how you laugh about it, as long as you find something funny on a regular basis you’ll reap the health and feel-good benefits.
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