Do you laugh enough each and every day? Research shows that a newborn baby laughs around 300 to 400 times a day. However an adult hardly has time to have a hearty laugh these days. As we grow we tend to get busy with our problems and issues, stress and worry tends to take over. As a result we have forgotten how to laugh from the bottom of our belly like we did when we were children.
Stress is a serious factor that controls many aspects of our lives. It can affect our physical and psychological health. Stress can contribute to all kinds of health problems such as insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, etc. It can also affect our performance at home and at work.
Laughter is a wonderful stress buster. Some of the benefits of laughter are:
1. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones such as epinephrine, adrenaline and cortisol.
2. It increases the level of health-enhancing hormones such as endorphins.
3. It strengthens our immune system by increasing the release of anti-bodies in our system.
3. It leads to a physical and emotional release - many people cry at the end of a good laugh. There is a sense of freedom from bottled-up emotions. They experience a cleansed feeling after a hearty laugh.
4. It is a good internal workout - a good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, the abdominal muscles and the heart. You feel more relaxed afterwards.
5. It distracts your feelings away from anger, guilt, shame, etc. so that your focus is shifted from negative feelings to positive ones.
Laughter plays a vital role in a persons well-being. Laughter has the capacity to heal and make us feel healthier so that we feel refreshed and we regain our strength to carry on with our life. Some of the medical benefits of laughter are: Improved blood circulation, increase in the sense of well-being due to release of endorphins, which are also known as 'feel-good hormones', increased immunity, pain relief, etc.
Now that you understand the positive effects of laughter why don't you raise your laughter level with the following tactics?
1. Instead of watching serious movies on romance and war, you could watch truly hilarious movies on TV or go to funny movies and enjoy a belly-full of laughter with your family. Why not have a laughter challenge with your family or friends.
2. There are enough worries in life. Instead of focusing on them, try to laugh at them. Complain less and laugh more.
3. Studies show that faked laughter also has positive benefits on health. Fake laughter may lead to real smiles and laughter. You could call it laughter medicine.
4. Make it a point to read joke books, laughter quotes or watch funny movies before going to bed because it relaxes you and helps you to have a pleasant sleep.
Laughter is the best medicine.