Feeling tired? Overwhelmed? Are deadlines looming? Has quarantine got you down? If you need a boost of energy, stress relief, or an infusion of inspiration, try laughter! Laughter changes us! Our facial muscles are stretched, our pulse and blood pressure increase, and we breath deeper and faster, sending oxygen-enriched blood to our organs and tissues. Laugh today!
Research shows that laughter provides health benefits that can boost our mental and emotional outlook and can result in physical changes in our bodies. Laughter is good for us!
Laughter reduces tension and stress by
• Producing a relaxed feeling from the increase and then decrease of your heart rate and blood pressure.
• Increasing your intake of oxygen-rich air which aids heart, lungs, and muscle health.
• Stimulating the production of endorphins which are the “feel-good” chemicals naturally released by our bodies to relieve stress and pain.
Lasting effects of laughter
• Prevention of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and building healthier blood vessels.
• Strengthened immune system by increasing the disease-fighting antibodies present in our bodies.
• Improved pain management as endorphins are released which can act as natural painkillers.
• Improved mood as serotonin is released in the brain which may help fight depression.
• Reduction of some of the physical symptoms of stress by stimulating circulation and increasing muscle relaxation.
Set aside time to laugh. Don’t get too busy at work and in the home to enjoy a good laugh. Spend time with friends and co-workers who make you laugh. Look for funny stories to share with your family at dinner. Purposefully choose books or movies with positive and funny messages. Watch funny dog or cat videos ~ whatever brings a smile and then a laugh to your heart. Check out a joke book from your local library to share with your family.
Laughter is contagious, so share it. Laugh today!
Sources: Mayo Clinic – Stress relief from laughter? April 2019 NIH – Relaxation Techniques for Health. May 2016