Have you ever watched in amazement a baby laugh uncontrollably? You wonder what’s so funny, yet it becomes contagious and you begin to giggle and laugh with them. A baby’s uncontrollable laughter is so beautifully organic and is one of the best forms of medicine.
A deep stomach-aching, cheeks-hurting, can’t-breathe-and-tears-streaming-down-your-face laugh is one of the best feelings in the world; it not only helps not only your mood, but also your health.
Research has found that the effects of laughter and exercise are very similar.
Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, is a psychologist and laugh therapist who believes that those who laugh several times during the day are healthier both physically and emotionally. One physiologically changes when we laugh. We’re stretching muscles throughout our face and body, which boosts our heart rate thereby we breathe faster which sends more oxygen to our tissues, creating happy cells.
Some researchers think laughter just might be the best medicine, helping you feel better and putting that spring back in your step. They also discovered that ten minutes on a rowing machine can raise your heart rate to the same level as one minute of hearty laughter!
Here are a few more reasons why you should giggle more and add laughter to your everyday ‘workout’ regimen. Laughter:
- Lowers your stress hormone levels which cut down on how much anxiety and stress is affecting your body. It also strengthens your immune system.
- Boosts oxytocin, the happy hormones in your body. Who couldn’t use a little of that?
- Enhances your complexion by working 15 of your facial muscles, creating a natural glow!
- Increases alertness, creativity, learning, and memory.
- Great workout – laughing works the same muscles in your stomach as abdominal workouts.
What Else Can This Free Medicine Do?
- Defends against respiratory infections: reduces the duration and frequency of colds.
- Lowers blood pressure – even those who don’t have high blood pressure, laughter can decrease the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- Improves cardiac health – the benefits of laughter help get your blood pumping and can get you a great cardio workout.
- Boosts T-cells – your T-cells are specialized immune supporting cells ready to be activated at any moment. Laughter is just one of those things that can activate your T-cells. Once they’re activated, your T-cells begin to rapidly divide and start to help your immune system fight off any sickness.
- Triggers release of endorphins – endorphins are your body’s natural pain killers, and you can release them by having a laugh or two. They can help ease chronic pain and help your body feel better all over.
- Produces a general sense of well being – it’s pretty powerful stuff!
It is a known fact that people who have a more positive outlook on life tend to fight colds and diseases better than those who are pessimistic. As a certified laugh leader who studied under Steve Wilson (mentioned above), along with being a hypnotherapist, I help my clients in changing their perspective and think more optimistically so they can enjoy life. Laughing and smiling helps stimulate all your cells; it’s as if they’re giggling on the inside. Shift happens!!!
You can increase your own outlook on life by adding laughter to it. Don’t be surprised when you start to feel more positive and have an enhanced sense of overall well-being. So be sure to crack a smile every once in a while and laugh at least once a day—doctor’s orders.
Fun is FUN-damental to human excellence!
To Your Success,
Marla Brucker, DCH, R.HA