St Paul MN Chiropractor | Health & Wellness
Have you heard that laughter is the best medicine? That question may have elicited a chuckle from your doctor once, but today, your physician may advise you to up your daily dose of laughter to improve your health. Psychologists studying the science of happiness believe that practicing certain positive behaviors like laughter can bring the pleasure, engagement and meaning that comprise happiness [source: Jameson].
So, C mon, Get Happy!
All of us know that happiness laughter is good. We’ve heard it being repeated over and over again about how laughter promotes good health, emotional well being and a better world. But sometimes just knowing this is not enough. When people don’t know the details and the workings behind something, they’ll naturally be less convinced of it. It will be less likely for them to be sufficiently motivated by it to change their lifestyle.
Being happy has always seemed like a good idea. Now researchers have shown that even anticipating a laugh helps reduce stress.
Get Your Daily Dose Of Laughter… It Does A Body Good!
Laughter is not just an external display of happiness, but within the body there is other stuff happening too that affect your health.
How does laughter improve one’s health? Laughter sets off a chain reaction throughout the body that promotes physical and psychological health. Regular and frequent guffawing can both prevent illness and help you get well. Laughter lowers your body’s hormone and cortisol and epinephrine.(Cortisol is a stress-induced chemical that can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and excess belly fat.) Laughter also strengthens your immune system because it increases the production of antibodies in your saliva and in your bloodstream to stave off bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Laughter also helps with skin conditions. People suffering from eczema noted improvement in their complexions after consistently watching funny movies. When allergy patients laugh regularly, it reportedly shrinks their welts [source: Kimata].
Lighten Up and Live Longer
Laughing and having more fun in life are only a few of the many ways in which you can ensure that you remain healthy and active well into your Golden Years.
We are thirty more times more likely to laugh when we are with other people than when we’re alone.
Prevents Heart Disease
One researcher claims it takes 10 minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter.
Lowers Stress Hormones
Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine, and growth hormone.
10 to 15 minutes of laughter burns 50 calories.
Humor triggers positive feelings & fosters an emotional connection which creates a positive bond with each other. Being interactive with others by talking, listening, playing, laughing, and hugging can actually increase the hormone called oxytocin (the hugging hormone), which is found to have stronger effects then even serotonin. This also strengthens relationships creating a better sense of support and love in life.
The ability to laugh, play, and have fun with others not only makes life more enjoyable but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and be more creative. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships.
Known To Lower Blood Levels
One study showed people with diabetes had lower blood sugar levels after eating a meal and watching a comedy compared to a tedious lecture.
Laughter releases endorphins; the body’s feel good chemicals, which can relieve pain.
For people with chronic pain, laughter’s physiological benefits can serve as a powerful form of pain management. When you laugh, you release endorphins. Those are feel-good hormones, as well as natural painkillers. And they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.
Where there’s laughter, pain usually subsides. Sharing a good chuckle with a loved one or co-worker not only feels good, it is good for you. Studies have shown that laughing boosts your immune system, reduces stress and stimulates blood circulation.
Laughter increases energy enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
Eases Anxiety & Fear
Laughter brings the focus away from negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other distractions.
Facial muscles are toned and increase of blood supply to the face nourishes the skin, giving it a healthy glow.
Strengthens Immune system
Laughter also boosts the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells, leading to a stronger immune system, thus improving resistance to disease.
Reduces Food Cravings
Laughter increases the secretion of endorphins, which can help produce cravings for comfort foods.
Provides A Physical & Emotional Release
Shared laughter adds joy, vitality, and resilience. Humor is an effective way to heal resentments, hurts, and disagreements.
Attracts Others To Us
Having a lifestyle filled with laughter attracts positive energy. People who are similarly happy and positive will be naturally attracted to us. Because laughter is contagious and connects us with others, enjoying a few rounds of the giggles with some friends can be some serious therapy.
Helps Defuse Conflict
Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations less threatening.
Lower Blood Pressure
After the initial burst of laughter, our blood pressure drops to lower than usual levels. We also breathe deeper and fuller after a good bout of laugh.
Laughter also is a good workout for your body. By laughing, you are exercising the various muscles in your body including the diaphragm, face, abdomen, chest/lungs and back. This is known to help several bodily functions including our digestion process. Laughter burns as much calories as a few minutes of ‘real’ exercises such as cycling etc. Now is that great or what?
Exercises Muscles Leaving Them Relaxed
Whether you’re chuckling at an episode of “South Park” or quietly giggling at the latest cartoon, laughing does your body good. A good hearty laugh relieves physical tension & stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter is a great form of stress relief. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing.
On average, children laugh 400 times per day; adults, on the other hand, laugh only 15 times per day. With all the health benefits laughter offers, we adults better get laughing!
Have you had your daily dose of laughter today? It does your body good. And that’s no joke!!!