It gives you a burst of energy.
It makes you happy (through the release of endorphins).
It is a stress reliever (by reducing the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone).
It gives you a stronger immune system (by increasing the amount of antibodies in your blood, natural killer cells and T cells, which fight infection and tumours).
It appears to increase your blood flow and researchers think it may decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
It is also a muscle relaxant and might even help you burn off calories.
You should be!
Smiling Works Too…
You don’t necessarily have to laugh, smiling is also very beneficial for your health (with the same immune system booster, stress and pain reliever and feel good benefits as laughter).
Smiling is also said to lower blood pressure.
All these benefits for free!!!
… as long as you remember to laugh and smile a few minutes every day …
Remembering To Laugh
Remembering to laugh might actually be the hardest thing to do.
Laughter comes easily to children who are said to laugh as much as 200 to 300 times a day whereas adults are thought to laugh an average of 15 times a day only.
Life is always more serious and demanding as an adult – full of responsibilities and bills to pay.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It…
But here comes the good news: faking it is as good as the real thing!!! It produces the same physiological and psychological benefits.
And generally a fake smile or laugh will lead to a real one.
So there’s no excuse.
- Watch funny films, comedians, … on TV, in Comedy stores or read funny stories
- Spend time with friends who make you laugh
- Join a laughter yoga class (a combination of laughter exercises with pranayana – yogic breathing) or a laughter club
- Reflect on happy memories and old photos
- Have fun with your children and let yourself be silly
- And if you haven’t had your daily dose, just fake it for a few minutes.
A Funny Story To Finish
I’ll finish with a funny story to start you on your laughter journey:
“An old man lived alone in Minnesota . He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation:
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting time. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if you weren’t in prison.
…………………………. ..Love, Dad
Shortly, the old man received this telegram: ‘For Heaven’s sake, Dad, don’t dig up the garden!! That’s where I buried the GUNS!!’
At 4 a.m. the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any guns.
Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asked him what to do next.
His son’s reply was: ‘Go ahead and plant your potatoes, Dad…………………….. It’s the best I could do for you from here..'”