Have you laughed lately?
I’m not talking about a polite giggle or an uncomfortable “I-don’t-get-this-joke-but-everyone-else-is-laughing” type of laugh – I’m talking about a straight from the gut, roll on the ground, teary eyed type of laugh.
If you answered “No,” you should really think about giving it a try. It’s good for your health. An outlined in an article from the Discovery Channel, here is a look at laughter and health from neuroscience perspective:
Laughter decreases stress:
It’s true! Laughing decreases the level of stress hormones that impare immune system function.
Laughter helps you cope with the tough things in life:
While we can’t control all of the difficult things life throws at us, we can control how we choose to react. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America hold group laughter therapy sessions to help cancer patients and their family members cope throughout the cancer trajectory.
Laughter improves blood pressure:
The University of Maryland found that laughter could be responsible for the promotion of better blood flow and oxygenation through expansion of the blood vessel tissue.
Laughter is exercise!:
Don’t feel like spending a monotonous ten minutes on a rowing machine or exercise bike? Try laughing 100 times instead!
Laughter positively affects blood glucose levels:
A study on the effect of long-term laughter therapy in individuals with type 2 diabetes suggested that laughing might reduce microvascular complications due to the reduction of
Laughter helps with pain management:
Since the 13th century, surgeons have been using laughter as a way to distract their patients from the pain and discomfort of various surgeries. Even today, surgeons are using a distraction method of local anesthetics and laughter as opposed to the sedation methods that often cause drowsiness, confusion, and other adverse reactions.
Laughter can help create lasting social relationships:
Laughter can be a great icebreaker; much like a smile, laughter is a universal symbol of communication.
Laughter can disarm aggression:
Laughter promotes muscle relaxation, calmer affect, and a clearer perspective.
Laughter energizes organs:
Take lungs, for example: abnormal breathing patterns due to laughter can lead to coughing or hiccupping that may dislodge mucus plugs in the airway.
Laughter can create a better overall sense of wellbeing:
Laughter is a healthy outlet for releasing pent up anger and frustration. Additionally, laughter can create bonds between individuals that can lead to more sources of social support.
Not sure how to start laughing? Here are a few tips to get you started:
- What makes you laugh? Whatever that is, read it and/or watch it more often
- Surround yourself with people who enjoy a sense of humor
- Be a responsible jokester and recognize that some jokes just aren’t funny to others. Be sensitive to the beliefs and cultures of others.
- Try not to be too annoying – Sure, sitting in an awesome parking spot at the mall with your reverse lights on during the holiday shopping rush may be hilarious to you, but it is very unlikely that other commuting shopperswill appreciate your sense of humor; which means you probably won’t be making any friends at the mall that day.