The ability to laugh at yourself and laugh, in general, has many health benefits.
Everybody loves to laugh. Laughter is contagious and the sound of it provokes more laughter.
How can laughter improve your health and help U live life to the fullest?
- Laughter releases tension and lowers anxiety. Laughter changes your stress response by reducing the level of your stress hormones and providing U with a relaxed feeling.
- When U laugh your brain releases endorphins which creates feelings of joy and euphoria.
- Laughter gives your heart and lungs a work out which reduces the physical impact of stress.
- People who laugh often have lower blood pressure. The act of laughing helps lower your blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of heart disease.
- Fifteen minutes of laughter per day can be as beneficial to your heart as 30 minutes of exercise three times per week.
- Laughter releases endorphins into our system which act as a “natural high” which provides temporary pain relief.
- Laughter has been shown to improve sleep by reducing stress and promoting mind and body relaxation and calm. Sleep allows U to have a clear and alert brain which will improve your focus, ability to learn, grow and be creative and productive.
- In the workplace, laughter can improve improve your relationships with your co-workers.
- Improve your social relationships. Friends love to hang out with others who are able to laugh and have a good time.
- Belly laughter can speed up your metabolism and help you shed pounds. Stress increases cortisol and cortisol increases your appetite. Ten to fifteen minutes of laughter can burn approximately 50 calories.
- Laugh often and ward off the physical appearance of aging. Promote laugh lines versus frown lines by laughing more. Smiling and laughter engages a number of different facial muscles which help promote a youthful appearance.
- Laughter can improve creativity and productivity. The saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is true. If U need a break, don’t hesitate to take one. Laughter increases oxygenation to the brain and improves your creativity and productivity.
- Laughter can improve a bad day and allow for the opportunity to inject some fun when things are difficult.
- Laughter boosts the immune system and produces antibodies which protect us from infections and illness.
With all this having been said, it is important to recognize that laughter is something that happens to us unconsciously. Try to laugh spontaneously on cue. Consciously, it is extremely difficult to initiate, control or sustain laughter. It feels forced and disingenuous.
Therefore, in order to promote more fun and laughter in your life:
- Give yourself permission to have a good time. If U are sabotaging yourself from having a good time U need to ask yourself why and address it. U are worth more than living a life without laughter!
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Recognize that children laugh approximately 300-400 times per day because they are JOYFUL. Adults only laugh, on average, 17 times per day. That is a startling and significant difference! If laughter and joy are missing in your life, U need to find the joy U once had. It’s there, U have simply forgotten what joy and happiness look like.
- Surround yourself with people who make U feel good. Hang out with friends U love to laugh with.
- Rent funny videos or watch your favorite comedies on TV.
- If U are finding it hard to laugh, make time to have fun by engaging in enjoyable experiences and activities. Do the things U love and do them often.
Laughter is healthy, we need it to survive and thrive. Keep laughing!
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” — Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)