It turns out that the popular saying “laughter is the best medicine.” has some truth to it. In fact, it’s backed by science. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. According to one study done at Indiana State School of nursing, blissful laughter may increase natural killer cell levels, a type of white blood cell that attacks cancer cells. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter also combats depression. Even forced laughter releases a cocktail of hormones, neuropeptides, and dopamine that can start to improve your mood.
“Laughter activates the body’s natural relaxation response. It’s like internal jogging, providing a good massage to all internal organs while also toning abdominal muscles,” says Dr. Gulshan Sethi, head of cardiothoracic surgery at the Tucson Medical Center and faculty at the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine.
Tips to Bring More Laughter Into Your Life:
- Find humor in little things. Focus on finding the laughable moments in your day, and then share your funny story with a friend as a way to increase the power of laughter.
- Be silly. Remember that life is funny. People find it attractive when you’re able to laugh at yourself. It may also help relieve your own stress.
- Make time for humor by watching a funny movie, a comedy show, by reading a funny book or comic strips, hanging out with people who are funny, or listening to your favorite comedian.
- Spend more time with people who have fun and try to stay away from people who who seem to be under an overcast cloud all the time.
- Practice laughter yoga.
- Be sensitive to what isn’t funny. Laugh with people, not at them.
Your ability to laugh can be cultivated with practice which is the point of “laugh yoga” so start to prioritize fun and humor in your life. Remember to share the laughter… it’s contagious, in a good way. 🙂
LIVE LAUGH … BELLE PAPILLON
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