Laughter is a pleasant physical reaction to a certain external or internal stimulus. It can rise from humorous thoughts, stories, or situations. Consisting of rhythmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system, it is very healthy for our mental and physical body. It is contagious, but does not cause any harm – on the contrary – it improves the health of body, soul, and spirit. It is cheap, accessible to everyone, everyone understands it and it is easy to use.
Laughter gives us:
- Strengthens the body
- Improves the immune system
- Helps with depression and anxiety
- Relieves fear
- Creates hope
Researchers from Harvard Medical School have found that people with a sense of humor live much happier and longer because laughter brings the same results as daily exercise, running, or some other physical activity. It leads to mental calmness, improved circulation, muscle relaxation, more active metabolism, and deeper breathing. In a relaxed atmosphere in the family or at work, productivity is better, problem-solving is easier and people are happier.
Laughter is a natural solution and answer to many health questions, and its “application” began to be significantly explored in the 1960s. Many clinics around the world today apply laughter therapy to their patients, especially in pediatric clinics.
So, what happens in our body when we laugh?
- Relaxing the body – Laughter has the potential to relax the whole body and provides protection against stress and tension. The muscles remain relaxed even 45 minutes after a good laugh.
- Release of endorphin – the hormone of happiness – In addition to creating a feeling of happiness, this hormone also helps with pain.
- Improves the work of the heart and blood vessels – Laughter lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
- Strengthens the immune system – Laughter reduces the level of cortisol – a stress hormone in the body.
Overall, laughter eliminates negative thoughts and feelings and is a cure for self-pity, sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. It provides good energy and optimism, as well as the ability to focus on positive things. It helps create a better atmosphere and see the world in a different light.
Therefore, don’t try to suppress the need for laughter even in public. Research shows that laughter is 30 times more contagious than yawning, so it’s likely that if you start laughing in public, people will laugh with you.
The benefits of laughter include:
- At the physical body health level – Relaxes muscles, reduces the stress hormone, reduces pain, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and strengthens the immune system.
- At the mental and emotional health level – Reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood, reduces fear of failure, and creates joy and optimism.
- At the social level – Encourages teamwork, helps alleviate conflicts, breaks down stereotypes, creates a sense of belonging, and strengthens relationships.
Everyday life is full of commitments, problems fears, and failures, so it is not easy to find a reason to laugh. That is why we often feel trapped carrying a burden to big for us and see no way out. Sometimes we worry about things we can’t change, so what is the point of that worry?
When life seems too complicated and difficult and we are struggling along the way, we need to stop and think about our obligations, our attitude, our potential, and our opportunities. And we need to make changes – it is easier than you think. All you need is to make a decision.
Here are some tips to help you:
- Think about what your biggest concern is and how you can change it – Keep a realistic picture of life and ask yourself questions like: is the situation really that bad, is it worth worrying about, can the situation be improved, is that really what matters, how important it is, does it take your time and personal peace. If you can’t change that situation – change your perception of it and try to just observe it, not identify with it.
- Observe your thoughts – If these are mostly negative thoughts, try to find something positive to think about, and don’t let negative thoughts come to you.
- Pay attention to the present moment – There is no use in replaying negative things from the past, nor in fear of things that may never happen in the future. Enjoy the present moment – that is all you have.
- Take a walk in the park or the beach and take a deep breath – The nature around you has healing properties, you just have to pay attention to it. Use your senses and be receptive to the energy that is offered to you.
- Try laughter yoga – It will help you relax.
- Smile, smile, smile – To yourself, to your neighbors, to the sky, to the flowers. Once you get used to it, it will be very easy for you to laugh. There is always something funny – you just have to find it or remember it.
Don’t always take everything too seriously – life is often far simpler than you think.
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➥ DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to replace medical treatment. The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.