Last Updated December 20th, 2021
Can Laughter be a Medicine for Good Health?
Feeling cranky lately? Do you ever wonder how a good hearty laugh can really change your day? Researchers believe that laughter is one of the best medicines for healthy living.
Laughter brings people together, changes your mood, relieves stress, and makes you feel happy. A good laugh can alleviate pain, bring joy to a dark and gloomy mood, and bring hope in life. It is no wonder that today, laughter is considered as an accepted mode of treatment by many doctors.
We are all aware of laughter or laughing clubs. These clubs are community-based organizations run by a group of people who join together to celebrate happiness through laughter.
Laughter yoga is considered a new concept. It is a form of exercise that involves voluntary laughter and rejuvenates your mind and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Laughter yoga is undoubtedly a great way to connect with people from all walks of life who choose to remain happy in spite of all the odds that they are facing in life.
Did you ever wonder why children are always happy? Children are oblivious of the pain and sorrow around us. They are innocent and laugh even at the slightest of jokes. Life is simple for them. As we grow old, our lives become more complex and we fail to enjoy the humor and happy moments in our lives. Uninterrupted laughing is good for our mental health and is a good stress buster.
Let us now take a look into some of the benefits of laughter.
Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension can be detrimental to your health. It is one of the main reasons for stroke and other heart diseases. Recent studies have revealed that 15 minutes of daily laughter therapy can reduce stress and high blood pressure.
Laughter therapy along with mild exercise can reduce the chances of stroke and heart ailments and help an individual to lead a stress-free life.
Reduces Stress Hormones
Hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, dopamine, and other growth-related hormones can induce stress. Laughter can reduce the level of these stress hormones. It can increase the production of endorphins which can improve our overall health and immunity.
Laughter can increase the production of IgA antibodies and boost our immune system. It can also improve the creation of natural killer cells or NK cells present in our body that can kill germs and infections.
Who needs to visit expensive psychiatrists, when you can laugh your way out of depression? Laughter therapy is a natural anti-depressant. Many doctors prescribe laughing sessions to their patients who are going through a difficult time or mental breakdowns.
Laughter sessions can be anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour. The results have been really promising for people suffering from long-term depression and mood swings. Laughing aloud along with singing, dancing, and hand-clapping with fellow members have proved to be really fruitful and can even improve sleep patterns.
Helps to Fight Negative Thoughts
Research studies and group experiments have proved that laughter therapy can improve negative thoughts, improve self-esteem and confidence, and help to fight depression and anxiety.
Women going through menopause or postpartum depression after childbirth often feel anxious and are unable to cope with the mood changes. Laughter can help them to control their negative thoughts and improve their coping mechanisms.
Laughter for Cardiovascular Health
Laughter improves your cardiovascular health. Laughter is a good exercise and stimulates blood circulation in the body. It relaxes body muscles, opens up the heart valves, and relaxes your entire body and mind.
The improved blood flow in your body reduces stress and prevents cholesterol and fat to accumulate in the artery walls that can cause heart diseases. Increased blood flow means more oxygen and hence improved bodily functions.
Many research studies have proved that a hearty laugh can stimulate the body to release nitric oxide, a chemical that reduces inflammation and keeps the artery walls clean from the accumulation of plaque.
Laughter can improve your pain thresholds. Modern medicinal practices often use laughter therapy to help patients recover fast from surgeries.
Research studies have shown that laughter exhausts your abdominal muscles which releases endorphin, a chemical that can give relief from pain. Although the theory is debatable, laughter can definitely induce a positive feeling among patients.
A good laugh can reduce belly fat. Laughter makes your muscles work harder and increases your heartbeat. It improves blood flow and helps you to burn more calories.
A good 15 minutes of laughter can burn more energy, tone your abdominal muscles, and is a good exercise for your abs. Laughter can be a natural exercise for toning your muscles and losing bodyweight.
Laughter improves your focus and helps you to be more productive at work. Workplace stress is very common in today’s busy life. A whole day’s work not only drains out your physical wellbeing but also your emotional energy.
Laughing with your co-workers can relieve you from workload, refresh your mind, forget workplace differences, and motivate you to become more focused at work. Laughter recharges your body, mind, and soul, relaxes your muscles, and helps you to become more empathetic towards your fellow co-workers.
Humor is the essence of all human emotions. It helps you to communicate better with people, understand criticism and helps you to nurture your creativity.
Heartfelt laughter relaxes your mind and helps you to think more positively and get in touch with your inner creativity. A happy and relaxed mind is able to generate more ideas, is more responsive to the surroundings, and is more productive.
Improves Social Skills
Do you feel socially awkward in family gatherings or office meetups? A bright smile can do wonders for you especially if you feel isolated or emotionally detached while meeting new people.
A smile can break social barriers and help you connect to people, especially in social gatherings. It improves your interpersonal skills and makes you more attractive and presentable.
Laughter Improves Relationships
Laughter helps to strengthen relationships. Couples going through a rough patch strain themselves over simple arguments. They no longer communicate and may even go silent for days.
Finding humor like sharing a joke or watching a funny movie together can assist them to deal with the stressful situation. Laughter can save relationships and bring people together.
Improves Sleep Pattern
Laughter helps you to sleep better. According to a recent study, it has been observed that laughing in the evening, a few hours before sleep can improve the production of the hormone melatonin responsible for sleep. Watching a funny movie before sleep can relax your mind and reduce stress.
How to Use Laughter in your Daily Life
Life is not a smooth journey. It can be difficult at time. Life may throw us numerous setbacks and challenges which may be difficult to cope with. Anxiety and stress are not uncommon. What is important is how we handle these situations.
Having good mental health does not mean that we will never be sad or heartbroken. It simply means that we should be strong enough to be able to handle these situations and do not succumb to misfortunes or emotional stress.
Laughter teaches us how to be happy even in difficult times. It teaches us to be resilient to stressful situations, to handle emotions better, and to have a positive attitude towards life.
Here are a few ways of how laughter can help us to lead a better life.
Laughter yoga or laughing yoga is a physical exercise where people join a group or a gathering and laugh aloud in order to be happy. Laughing yoga has become quite popular in India now and many people are implementing it in their daily life to fight stress and anxiety.
Laughing yoga helps you to connect your body, mind, and soul through asanas or exercises. It brings people together, helps them to relax, and improves interpersonal skills. Laughter yoga is a great way to bring out positive energy, communicate with people, and share a common thought.
Re-connect with your Friends
Life is busy. We often lose touch with our old friends with whom we were very close and had shared a beautiful bond. Laughter is contagious. Good hearty laughs and face-to-face encounters with old friends can bring back old memories and rekindle the bond that you shared in the past.
Research has shown that friendly greetings, heart-to-heart talks, and simply going out with friends can help relieve stress and detoxify our minds from worries and negative thoughts.
Start your day with a Smile
We often take life for granted. We fail to appreciate the gifts that life has bestowed upon us. We should be thankful for what life has given us. The best way to do that is to start our day with a positive attitude.
Starting the day with a smile can rejuvenate our mind and prepares us to take charge of the day on a positive note.
Watch Funny Movies
Life can be hard-hitting. Watching a simple comedy movie or television show can help us to forget our worries in no time. We often misinterpret comedy shows or movies as simply nonsensical or pointless. But if we try harder, we will see that comedy can teach us the hardest of life lessons in the most simple and funny way.
Movies of Charlie Chaplin which are often categorized as slapstick or dark humor teaches us to be optimistic and hopeful and face hardships with humor.
Play with your Pets
Pets are our companions. They bring joy to our lives. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that pets play a great role in psychological healing. They play an important role and helps us to cope with anxiety, depression, and stress in a much better way.
Their playful gestures, body language, and unconditional love can evoke a sense of contentment and gratitude in our lives. You can schedule daily play-time with your pet. This is a fun exercise and is a great way to bond with your pet. This will help you and your pet to be more active and have a wonderful time together. Going out with your pets on a walk in the park will introduce you to more like-minded people.
Laughter at the Workplace
We need to laugh more at our workplace. We spend more than half of our day in the office. Nobody likes serious and obnoxious colleagues. We all have to meet our targets and deadlines. So why not make our workplace more interesting?
Companies have realized the importance of laughter and how they can improve the overall creativity and productivity of their workers. They are now spending hundreds of dollars in team-building programs and happy hours to keep their employees happy and content.
A playful culture can inhibit more cooperation and help to reduce anxiety and work pressure among the workers. Lighthearted humor and a friendly environment are the key resources in building a better work culture in an office. Laughter brings people together and breaks barriers.
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