The Health Benefits of Laughter, No Joke
We laugh when there’s a good joke. We laugh when we get tickled. We laugh when something great happens. We laugh about something crazy, absurd or unexpected. It’s inherent in the human psyche to love to laugh. We laugh at comic events and the comedy of real life. But aside from the amusement and life laughter brings to a party, did you know that it also brings with it tremendous health and fitness benefits?
Laughter therapy classes are a flourishing area in the fitness industry. Sparked by the growing scientific proof of the benefits of laughter, these laughter-inspired classes feature long and loud laughs, giggles and cheerful chortling through jokes, recollection of fun moments and even laughing contests. True, laughter is not all spontaneous in these classes and can even be is forced. Yet, what’s been supported by studies is that even non-spontaneous laughter has fitness benefits for both the body and mind.
It’s good for stress reduction
One of the benefits of laughter therapy is stress reduction. Here’s something surprising: according to scientists, your body can’t decipher what is genuine laughter from a forced chuckle. So even if you’re down and you attempt a fake chuckle, it still goes a long way towards relieving you of stress and tension. When you’re under severe stress, it’s counter-productive to bottle it all in, says laughter experts. You’ll only add to the tension you feel. Instead, it is much better to vent it all out through a hearty chuckle.
It enhances blood flow
Did you know that laughter can enhance blood flow by as much as 20 percent? Like cardiovascular exercise, the heart and lungs have to work doubly hard to compensate for the increased flow of blood through the rest of the body. Together with the arteries, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems become stronger as a result. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels are also more regulated.
It strengthens the immune system
Laughter therapy also has the added advantage of strengthening the immune system. The cells in our body that protect us from diseases caused by harmful viruses, bacteria and free radicals are significantly lessened during long bouts of stress, says research. However, with a good laugh, they are also increased. Toxins are removed with a hearty chuckle, increasing your body’s chances of staying healthy. So, to boost immune system functions, give yourself the benefit of one good laugh.
It is a fitness regimen
Finally, laughter therapy can also be touted as a fitness regimen on its own. This is because 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can burn as many calories as jogging or another low-impact cardio regimen since it engages key muscles in your body. If you’re on the road to weight loss, then make it a point to laugh as many times as you can during the entire day.
A hearty chuckle isn’t something that’s difficult to do. If you can’t find a laughter class to enroll in near your area, you can simply laugh on your own. It might seem uncomfortable to laugh by yourself at first, but get the help of comedy movie so you don’t feel so awkward about it. As soon as you get used to laughing, it becomes easier to do so. Laugh your heart out and reap the amazing health benefits!
Laughter for the Soul – Tips for Getting More Laughter Into Your Day
There are some very clear psychological and mental benefits to laughter. When you open your mouth and let out a genuine hoot of laughter, you instantly lighten your mood and that of everyone nearby you. Happiness spreads from one wide-open mouth to another, as often just the sound of another person laughing is enough to fill us with joy and giggles, too.
Have you ever been in a very intense situation where everyone around you was obviously feeling uptight, nervous, or scared? Have you ever seen a situation like that be turned into an entirely different situation just by something funny that breaks the mood? If so, then you have firsthand experience of the power laughter has over our mental processes.
Besides lifting your mood instantaneously, laughter creates physical changes within your body that promote happiness and joy. Endorphins are released when you let out a big laugh and they deliver the same effects as prescription medications that are used to treat anxiety and depression. It can also relax the muscles in various areas of the body which leads to less tension in the body. It can even boost your immune system so you get sick less often when it is enjoyed on a continuous basis!
The following tips are designed to help you get more laughter into your day. Use them as a springboard to your creative laughter-inspiring ideas and aim to laugh a little each and every day.
The Forced Smile
Have you ever heard that if you just make yourself smile you can’t help but feel a bit happier? It is completely true! Whenever you are feeling tears well up in your eyes, frustration or anger overtake your body, or stress start to overwhelm you, look in the mirror and smile at yourself for at least a full minute. Watch yourself smile and feel the difference it makes on your mood.
If you feel the desire to laugh at yourself in the mirror, by all means, do it!
Joke About Life
People who laugh the most on a daily basis tend to be those who are natural comedians. They pick out the comedic events in their day, play jokes on their friends and colleagues in a playful manner, and find many different ways to put a smile on everyone’s face. One way to get some laughter into your own world is to play the same part. Find ways to see the comedy in every situation, joke with your friends in a loving manner and let their smiles of delight transfer into laughter for everyone.
The Funny News
Another way to get more laughter into your life is to seek out parodies of current news clips online or watch short; funny sitcom shows on television. You probably already read news and watch TV nearly every day, so why not make it something that puts a smile on your face and takes the stress monkey off your back?
Go online, and you will find tons of websites that aim to put a smile on your face.
It’s no joke, smiling and laughter are good for the soul.