Everyone knows that laughing makes you feel good.
When you laugh, your brain releases mood elevating endorphins, leaving you feeling less stressed and happier than you did before the chuckle.
But you might be surprised to know that the act of laughing also brings about physical effects that can benefit your health. In an article published by Mayo Clinic laughter not only releases stress, but also alleviates pain symptoms and is good for your immune system. Perhaps it is true that laughter really is the best medicine.
However, when it comes to having a genuine laugh, the reality is some days it is difficult to muster a smile let alone have a great side-splitting chortle. That needn’t stop you though from using the gift of laughter to benefit your mind, body and spirit. You can add more chuckles to your day by either increasing opportunities for a genuine laugh, or you can just physically go through the actions of laughter without a humor trigger. Either way, it is better to laugh daily than not, so go for whatever method works for you.
Be selective with what you choose to read and watch and with whom you spend your social time with. If an activity or person makes you feel down emotionally, or physically exhausted afterward, then your body will welcome a break from the cause of that negativity.
Our human bodies love fresh air, exercise, healthy food and clean water. If we don’t have adequate supply of these basic elements our bodies tend to feel sluggish (what we might describe as generally feeling ‘off’). But when you have the basics right, your body feels happier and this naturally brings about a cheerier disposition.
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? Was it with a particular friend? Watching a scene from a movie? Think back to past instances where you truly laughed out loud and make the decision to put similar activities and situations into your schedule more often.
Just like yawning, laughter is contagious. Studies show that when we see or hear another person laughing our brains automatically prepare us to laugh in response – this is a primal form of behavioral mirroring (Source: Live Science). So watch a laughter video or two on Youtube and enjoy the show.
Although Laughter Yoga (Hasyayoga) starts off with prolonged forced laughter, it doesn’t take long for the whole group to really start laughing. Benefits of Laughter Yoga are said to include an elevated mood, higher pain thresholds and development of social bonds. For more information on Laughter Yoga click here to visit Laughter Yoga America’s website.
Why should you miss out on the physical benefits of laughter just because there’s nothing particularly funny to laugh at today? Just close the door and laugh like it’s nobody’s business. Even without a humor trigger, your body will still be receiving benefits such as increased oxygen flow to your organs, relaxed muscles and stimulated circulation.
So there you have it – the amazing health benefits of laughter and six surprising ways to add more laughter to your day. You now have no excuse to not get more laughs in. Afterall, laughter truly is the best medicine.
What or who never fails to make YOU laugh? Tell us in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!
Kate Barton is a Sydney based ‘lightworker’ – a person who intentionally works to bring healing, love and light to the world. A lifelong student of metaphysics Kate also publishes Basking In Light, a website and online community sharing uplifting news, inspirational true stories and accessible tools for self empowerment and soothing. For more information on Basking In Light visit www.baskinginlight.com or see Facebook page facebook.com/baskinginlight.