Laughter is the best medicine!

It can’t cure everything but it is a great form of stress relief and will certainly do more to help than harm!

Go ahead and give it a try – smile, you know you want to. How does that make you feel? Are you feeling a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed?

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Amongst other things joy and happiness can come from laughter, and everyone could do with more joy, happiness and laughter.

Do you know of anyone who has ever complained about being too happy?

Laughter increases DHEA – a steroid hormone which is your vitality hormone – your life force, it balances all the other hormones and keeps you young and vital. DHEA also has anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-obesity effects.

Laughter exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system. A study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humour and laughter can also improve memory and mental performance.

laughter medicine_2Increase the flow of lymphatic fluid

Muscular movement of any kind will stimulate and increase the flow of lymphatic fluid, and laughter is one of the most painless and beneficial ways to do this.

When you laugh, your diaphragm moves and this movement assists the lymphatic vessels in carrying lymph fluid through your body, this in turn helps your lymph nodes to clean and filter this fluid, removing waste products.

Maintaining clean body fluids is important because these are necessary for you to be in optimal health.

An increased lymphatic flow = an improved immune system = better health. 

laughter medicine_3Short-term benefits

When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just improve your mood, it actually induces physical changes in your body:

– Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

– Laughing lowers your stress and increases your heart rate and blood pressure – the result? A great, relaxed feeling.

– Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects

Laughter as well as being a quick pick-me-up, has longer term effects and may:

laughter medicine_4

– Improve your immune system – negative thoughts create chemical reactions that can affect your body, increasing the stress in your system and decreasing your immunity. Positive thoughts release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

– Laughter may ease and relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. It may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to many muscle disorders.

– Laughter can make it easier to cope with difficult situations;
it helps to ease the tension.

– Laughter can help improve your mood and lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.

Laughter has so many benefits and yet far too many of us forget to even crack a smile every once in a while, let alone laugh.

Ways to incorporate more laughter and joy in your life

Watch a funny movie or TV show
Watch funny videos on YouTube
Share a joke
Laughter Yoga
Play with a pet
Do something fun or silly
Make time for fun activities
Connect with people who make you happy, preferably in real life

There is no doubt that laughter is good for us

There are simply no negative side effects and the best part is that it is FREE. So make sure you are having fun, laughing and smiling every day by using any or all of the simple techniques above.

Connect with Expert Kerry Madgwick

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