12 Reasons to Laugh Your Way to Health and Wellness
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine — Lord Byron
Most of us enjoy being in the company of people with a cheerful disposition and a great sense of humor. We enjoy their easygoing nature and attractive infectious laughter. This kind of camaraderie not just boosts happiness and mood but also creates a bonding between people. Nevertheless, besides bonding laughter produces various changes in the body thus promoting optimal health and wellness.
The Effects of Laughter
Laughter is a robust antidote to tension, anxiety anguish and conflict. Nothing on earth works faster or perhaps more dependably to create a balance between the mind and body than a good chuckle. Humor reduces your burdens, give hopes, bonds you to others, and keeps you maintain your cool, sharp and focused. Laughter activates positive changes in the body. Humor and laughter fortify your immune approach, boost your vitality, minimize discomfort and pain and preserve you from the harmful impact of stress. Most of all, this invaluable remedy is fun, free, and convenient to make use of and works as one of the best antidote for several ailments.
Dr Norman Cousins, MD in the year 1979 wrote the memoir ‘Anatomy of Illness’, which created awareness among the medical fraternity about the Topic of humour healing. In his eBook, Dr. Cousins illustrates how he used laughter to alleviate his agony and pain whilst undergoing medication for ankylosing spondylosis condition an incurable and enormously painful spine condition. He said that ten minutes of laughter gave him two hours of pain-free peaceful sleep. Since the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of humour and its advantages on health and wellness, humour healing become overwhelmingly popular. Within the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body and turned up some possibly intriguing information on the way it influences us:
1) Laughter for an Internal Workout
The simple act of laughing imparts similar effects of a workout as it involves the diaphragm, respiratory tract, abdomen and the shoulders. This acts as muscle relaxant as it leads to longer exhalations releasing the residual air from the lungs and supplying oxygen to the blood.
2) Laughter Enhances the Immune System
Laughter strengthens a weak immune system. It creates a drop in stress hormones, augments the T-cells in the blood, the antibodies that destroy infection. This boosts resistance and prevents the body from infection and inflammation.
3) Laughter Promotes General Well Being
Laughter activates the discharge of feel good chemicals in the body called endorphins. These chemicals impart a general feeling of well-being and temporarily helps ease pain.
4) Laughter Is a Relaxant
Laughter relaxes the whole physique. A good fit of laughter assuages stress and tension leading to relaxation of the muscles for as much as forty-five minutes.
5) Laughter Neutralizes Hormones
Laughter decreases the level of stress hormones like dopamine, adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine, and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters.
6) Laughter Alleviates Stress
Laughter works as an excellent stress buster as it reduces the levels of dopamine, cortisol and epinephrine, stress hormones. On the other hand, it boosts the levels of hormones that helps promote optimal health. Apart from this, laughing offers the same effects as a complete workout as it activates blood circulation and tones the muscles leading to relaxation of physically stressed out conditions.
7) Laughter Combats Depression
Laughter aids people suffering from depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Further, a study published in an international journal of geriatrics illustrated laughter therapy as one of the best methods for fighting depressive symptoms among the senior citizens. Besides this, since laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones in exchange for feel good hormone it creates a positive attitude towards life with fewer chances of giving in to depressive tendencies.
8) Laughter Improves Quality of Sleep
Laughter is one of the most effective techniques for promoting sleep as well as to improve the quality of sleeping patterns. This is because laughing helps release of sleep inducing hormone, melatonin, by the brain, preventing symptoms of insomnia.
9) Laughing Relieves Pain
Laughing works as a natural pain reliever as a study carried out by Oxford University pointed out that people with a good sense of humour with a natural ability to laugh were able to sustain 10 percent more pain than those who refrained from laughing. This is primarily because laughing releases the feel good hormones called morphine that that helps decrease aches, pain and spasms.
10) Laughter Helps Controls Blood Sugar
Laughter has a tremendous influence on blood sugar levels and protects from micro vascular complications. Although the precise reason is yet to be identified, it is thought that since the act of laughing releases the energy used up by the abdomen it might have a direct impact on the neuro-endocrine system which constantly checks the glucose levels in the body.
11) Laughter Is Good For the Heart
Since Laughter reduces the stress hormones like cortisol, it enables healthy blood circulation, aids relaxation of blood vessels, stabilizes heart rate, lowers blood pressure, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body and prevents clumping of blood clots in the arteries and veins. This facilitates effective cardiac functions by alleviating the risks of conditions such as atherosclerosis cardiovascular problems and heart attacks.
12) Laughter Helps Remain Youthful
Laughter enhances a person’s attractiveness and helps retain the fountain of youth. This is because laughing and smiling involves the use of fifteen facial muscles, which improves blood flow thus providing an anti ageing effect. Further, a hearty laugh promotes mental health by soothing and relaxing the mind free of stress. Hence, a reverberating attractive smile or laughter beats the best cosmetic products in the world for youthful good looks and prevents wrinkles and fine lines
Therefore, laugh often for laughter does not just helps maintain good health, it also produces happiness, improves tolerance and bonding besides inducing compassion and generosity. It is true that ‘Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain’- Charlie Chaplin