While laughter may not be the universal remedy; laughter does yield a positive effect on our bodies. According to Dr. Paul E. McGhee, laughter has been shown to lower the level of stress hormones, such as epinephrine, cortisol, DOPAC, and growth hormone in the blood, (temporarily) lower blood pressure, and reduce pain. As a result, we feel a boost in our spirit and our energy level goes up. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more consistently to bring our mind and body back into balance than a good, hardy laugh. As Groucho Marx once stated, “A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.” Humor lightens our burdens, inspires hopes, connects us to others, and keeps us grounded, focused, and alert.
Laughter also provides an excellent source of cardiac exercise; and, it triggers a unique breathing pattern that offers significant respiratory benefits, ultimately reducing the risk of pulmonary infection. Other benefits of laughter are:
RELAXES the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
BOOSTS the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
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.
PROTECTS the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems (HelpGuide.org).
Laughter is a fabulous way to support our physical and emotional well-being; furthermore, laughter is spontaneous fun and a mini-vacation. Initiated by whatever tickles our heart or strikes our funny bone, laughter magically alleviates any stress of the moment! Although laughter cannot be forced upon someone, laughter is contagious.
Have you ever played the laughing game? It is a game best played when you have at least 3 or more people in a group. One person just starts with a single, “ha!” The next person adds another and you get, “ha-ha”. You keep going around each group member adding another “ha!” and you keep repeating around the group of people over and over again until there is a roar of laughter, “ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.” At that point hardly anyone can contain themselves.
Spontaneous, humorous moments usually cause laughter. Jokes, puns, riddles, and stories with unexpected endings are great ways to encourage laughter. Children, animals, movies, and videos are great source of humor. What makes you laugh?
There was this one occasion when my sister and her husband decided to spend their evening at Barnes and Noble. While they were browsing the children’s books my sister had to bend down to tie her shoe. This is after she expressed to her husband how heavy and unattractive she felt…well Elmo didn’t think so as Elmo was checking out my sister’s rear end. My brother-in-law captured the image.
Are there any specific times in your life that you can now laugh about? Any unexpected, spontaneous, and funny moment can cause a roar of laughter. What moments in your life can you laugh about? Consider the remedy of laughter; it is good for both, our physical and mental well-being.
All rights reserved. ©2016 by A.K. Orobko