August 14, 2014

How many times have you heard laughter is the best medicine? Did you know more and more research shows that laughter is good for you mentally and physically along with of course a good sense of humour, a positive attitude, and the support of friends and family.

We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. It’s like a little workout without the stress or trip to the gym. One researcher found it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. Even more exiting is that laughter burns calories – 10-15 minutes of laughter burns 50 calories.

Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your energy, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress; it is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. It has been proven that no therapy or tablet can bring the mind back to a balanced state as laughter. Laughter will also give you a positive, optimistic outlook through difficulties, disappointments, and  loss. It brings you hope, meaning and motivation at some dark times and its contagious, your brain will hear laughter and prime you to join in, and this is a primal instinct! If we share laughter we bond with others, bring joy and often resolve resentments between us.

Bring some more laughter into your life by –

  • Laugh at yourself – Don’t be mean to yourself but don’t take yourself too seriously. We all do silly things or embarrassing things and one of the best ways to turn a negative into a positive is to laugh about it.
  • Watch funny TV or go to see comedian – laugh out loud at what tickles you, find some belly laughs and don’t be scared to really give into your laughter.
  • Keep pictures around that remind you of fun times when you were laughing a lot. And as you think of that time, give it at least a little chuckle.
  • Head towards the laughter. When you hear laughter, go and find it as we know it’s contagious. Get closer so you can catch some laughter and maybe make some new friends too.
  • Play with children and pets, – they find joy and laughter in the simplest things – we could all learn from them.

You can even use laughter and mediation to relax –

  • Find somewhere peaceful and comfortable, ground yourself by growing roots from your feet to the floor.
  • Gently turn the corners of your mouth upward and start smiling softly
  • Broaden your smile and start laughing without exerting any force
  • Deepen your laughter so you feel it from your belly
  • Try and laugh ‘with’ yourself but not ‘at’ or ‘about’ someone or something
  • Bring mindful awareness to the moment of laughter – whatever you experience in the moment laugh with it

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