Laugh your way to good health
By Starts at 60 WritersIn HealthOn Sunday 29th May, 2016

Laugh your way to good health

In today’s fast-paced, stressed out world, it is important to find a way to strike a balance between your body and your mind.

One of the healthiest contagious things to exist is…laughter! That’s right, experts have officially confirmed what we’ve known all along – a hearty belly laugh can significantly improve your well-being. This would explain the introduction of laughter yoga as an emerging workout regimen – truly embracing the spirit of “laughter is the best medicine”.

Laughter is a multi-pronged answer to stress, pain and conflict. There’s nothing better than using humour to lighten your burdens, inspire hope, keep you grounded, enhance your relationships and connect you with others. Humour also helps you be more spontaneous and to ease your inhibitions to do something you generally wouldn’t do. Everything from a slight giggle to a side-splitting guffaw can change the temperature of a room from chilly unfamiliarity to a warm family-like atmosphere. Laughter also helps to develop resilience, improving your ability to acknowledge mistakes without getting angry and frustrated. 

Some health benefits of laughter include:

  • Relaxation: A good, hearty laugh relieves stress, leaving muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after, and thus increases energy as well.
  • Immune system booster: Want to improve your resistance to disease naturally? Indulge in something that makes you happy, probably a good comedy movie that gets you laughing with abandon. Decrease your stress hormones, increase your immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, and have a jolly good time while you’re at it!
  • Internal workout: A good bout of the giggles can actually be compared to a mild workout, as it exercises muscles and counteracts stress hormones.
  • Endorphins release: Endorphins promote an overall sense of feeling good (they are your bodies natural feel-good chemicals) by improving your mood, and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Circulation and blood flow improvement: Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which protects against cardiovascular problems. A good chuckle can also help increase circulation.
  • Improving memory: Particularly with senior members of the society, studies have shown that a good laugh can help boost recall ability and overall memory.
  • Easing anxiety and fear: Distressing emotions can be overwhelming, and it is important to try and create a psychological distance from your problems so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, and the perfect method of doing that is to have a good laugh.

So, tell us: Have you had a laugh today? What makes you laugh?

Here’s how to laugh on command:

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