Laugh to Be Happy and Healthy?
Laughter is powerful. In fact, research has shown that the health
benefits of laughter are far-ranging.
Laughter can evoke emotion - like when you hear
someone else laugh, you might even start to laugh (and feel better) - and can
create both conscious and subconscious, positively-charged, deep-seeded
physiological benefits when we laugh ourselves.
Kids laugh about 400 times a day; adults only about
15 times. What's wrong with this picture? We, as adults, must laugh more - both to be
happier and to be healthier.
Beyond that, when laughter is shared with others, it
binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter is also a powerful antidote to
stress, pain, and conflict.
and, really, humor in general can improve the quality of your relationships by
allowing you to be more spontaneous, let go of defensiveness, release
inhibitions, and express your true feelings.
Yes, laughter makes us feel better emotionally, but
it's much more than that. Laughter can also make us healthier and can help
reduce our chances of illness and disease.
It can even help us live longer.
There is the somewhat famous story about Norman
Cousins (the well-known prominent political journalist, author, professor, and
world peace advocate) and how he "cured" himself of heart disease and
a severe form of arthritis, mostly by laughter.
Others claim they have been cured of cancer and
other terminal illnesses, at least partly through laughter.
Some of the positive physiological effects of
- Helps to reduce stress
- Enhance the immune system
- Strengthen cardiovascular functions
- Oxygenate the body by boosting the
- Improve circulation
- Tone muscles
- Help with digestion and constipation
Yes, the curative powers of laughter have been well
documented. Just as important is the concept that laughter makes anyone
happier. Try it. Be like a child. Laugh more and laugh often. You really can learn to laugh at any stage of
important to set aside time specifically to focus on funny stuff, as you may do
with your exercising or other activities, and build from there. Eventually,
you’ll want to incorporate humor and laughter into your entire life, making it
part of everything you do.
Here are some specific
strategies to make that happen:
- Smile. Smiling is the starting point of laughter.
Like laughter, it’s contagious. Experts in “laugh therapy” find it’s
possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds
for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly
pleasing, practice smiling.
- Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act
of considering the good things in your life will distance you from
negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in
a state of sadness, you have further to go to get to humor and
- When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are
private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often,
people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an
opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you
hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
- Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both
at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor
in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are
- Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing
that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
One essential characteristic that also helps us laugh more is
not taking ourselves too seriously. Lighten up.
Sure, life can be tough, but there are always ways to reduce that stress
and take life (and yourself) less seriously.
- Laugh at yourself. Laugh
at the times when you messed up.
Admit your failures and embarrassing times.
- Laugh at tough situations rather than complain
about them. Find humor in a bad situation and realize
how crazy life can be.
- Surround yourself with reminders to
lighten up. Have a digital frame constantly running
with pictures of funny, happy times.
Put a humorous picture up where you spend a lot of time, like your
home or office.
- Keep things in perspective. Most things in life are not “life or
death” situations. In fact, most
things, if put in their proper perspective, are much less serious than we
make them out to be. Don’t worry …
- Deal with your stress. Life
is stressful. Learn to manage your
stress and laugh more.
- Notice how children act. They are the experts on playing, taking
life lightly, and laughing.
- Fake It: Studies
show that smiling causes positive effects within us, whether the smile is
fake or real. Similarly, faked
laughter also does the same thing. Our brain can't distinguish between
'fake' laughter and 'real' laughter that comes from true humor, so the
physical benefits are the same. So smile and laugh more, even if you have
to fake it. It will make things
better, and probably lead to more ‘real’ laughter as well.
Happiness Product of the Week:
The Funniest Book Ever Written
This week’s product is a book that is guaranteed to make you
laugh – and keep you laughing long after you’ve read it.
Check it out by clicking here.
BeHappy! my friends
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