“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” ~ George Gordon Byron.
A sense of humor is a wonderful gift. There is nothing quite like a good belly laugh to lift your spirits. Laughing might be as effortless as breathing for you, or relegated to those rare moments that catch you off guard. If you're the latter you might like to ask yourself this question. Do you laugh enough or has life got too serious for you?
Take a moment to consider a babies laugh. There is no editing of this innate expression of joy. It is wholehearted, spontaneous and frequent. Click here if you would like to be reminded of this beautiful sound.
When you laugh you connect to the present moment – the mindfulness state of 'not thinking'. In those few seconds your mind is completely still. This benefit alone may well be responsible for those listed below.
THE BENEFITS OF LAUGHING
♥ Improves Your Mood
Laughter has been found to reduce levels of depression and anxiety, by diminishing the impact of tension and stress and generating a sense of well-being. It seems the levels of stress hormones in your system dramatically decrease when you laugh your way through a funny video – the research.
This is even the case when chronic pain or illness is contributing to your depression as discussed below.
♥ Strengthens Your Immune System
Laughing instigates the release of significant antibodies, natural killer cells, T - cells and hormones to protect and fight off viruses, microorganisms, and tumor cells - the research.
However, the opposite is also true, when you get caught up in negative thoughts and their associated emotions your antibody levels drop, stress hormones are released, and negative neural pathways are strengthened - the research.
If you want to learn more about the connection between your emotional style and immune system click here.
♥ Relieves Your Pain
Laughter distracts you from your pain and releases endorphins, your bodies natural pain killer, in quantities believed to be 500 times more potent than the same amount of morphine. The result is temporary pain relief and a wonderful sense of calm - the research.
This is depicted in the wonderfully funny movie, Patch Adams, a true story about a doctor who uses humor in his treatment of both children and adults in the US. In Australia the "Clown Doctors" do the same.
♥ Strengthens Your Connections
Dr. Provine in his book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, suggests the health benefits above may be related to the social support it creates when you laugh with other people. Interestingly a study of seniors found laughing not only reduced their levels of depression and anxiety, but also improved there social connectedness. There is definitely a strong connection between friendships and our health.
So its no surprise that laughter is a key element of happy romantic relationships, with women rating "a sense of humor" as the top most desirable personality trait in a partner – the research. And according to Dr. Provine men are attracted to women who can laugh wholeheartedly.
♥ Live Longer
Another key finding in Dr Provine’s book is the dramatic decline of laughter in relationships as people age. Yet research has identified positivity as a key attribute of those who live longer. So, it seems we need to be more intentional about finding humor in our lives as we age.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW IDEAS FOR LIFTING YOUR LAUGHTER QUOTA
Hangout with people who love to laugh
Learn how to laugh at yourself
Plan to watch funny movies, sitcoms, comedians or that crazy cat video on social media
Look for the funny side of life. What you focus on grows
What would you like to add to this list.......?
“You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”~ Michael Pritchard
If you are struggling to find the joy in life, please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.