Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Laugh Often and Live Well

Updated: December 4, 2010 2:49 pm

Laughter is one of the best medicines to keep ourselves healthy. It has a very pleasant sensation and an expression of happiness, an inward feeling of joy. It is also an emotional expression, a reflection of one’s internal state. Laughter is indeed contagious as laughter of one person automatically evokes laughter from others.

                In today’s times, our stress levels are so high that it affects our health and day-to-day work. Laughing helps to relieve this stress. It helps us to do normal activity and enhances our appetite. Researchers say that laughter also improves our immune system. It helps lower-bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol thereby reducing heart problems. Research also tells us that the body responds to repetitive laughter similar to repetitive exercise. Laughter is also a potent drug in combating depression.

                There is strong evidence that cannot only improve laughter, health and help fight disease, but it can also make our brain happier. There are many physiological changes that take place, when we laugh. Our lung muscles and other organs get exercise and help to regulate the heart rate and respiratory rate, we breathe in a lot more oxygen. There is more flow of blood in our face consequently, we look younger and the so-called facial glow that women especially aspire to posses is also a by-product of this very youth elixir.

                A good-hearty laugh can really relax our mind and when our mind is relaxed new ideas develop giving rise to invention and innovation. One interesting fact about laughter is that it also helps to lose weight. A daily dose of laughter lasting 15 minutes can burn fat in our body and can help us lose about 5 kg a year. Laughter even fights infection. Studies have shown that higher levels of antibodies that fight infection in respiratory tracts are found in saliva of those, who recently watched funny movies or videos.

                There are many social benefits to laughing as well. A smiling person always attracts people’s attention because people like to be around those who smile. Laughter can go a long way in strengthening relationships and personal bonds keeping them fresh, exciting and long lasting. It is a powerful way to come over resentments and disagreements. Some people are very spontaneous that they get out of tough spots by their humorous behavior and keep the people around them at ease. One should always try and look for humor in bad situations. This will help improve one’s mood and of those around as well.

                Laughter eases anxiety and fear, and improves mood and adds joy to life. Humor helps us to keep us fit even in our most difficult times. A laugh or even a simple smile can go a long way towards making us feel better. It gives us respite from sadness and pain. Laughter gives us courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope.

                Laughter helps us to think positively and have an optimistic outlook through difficult situations and disappointments. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling us to stay focused and accomplish more. Shared laughter is even more effective and powerful. It helps us through tough times without being overwhelmed.

                Today I wonder why I hardly ever laughed loudly in my childhood. I remember distinctly my father’s hearty and loud laugh was very famous among friends and family. Unfortunately, there were people who advocated against laughter. Loud laughter was considered bad manners especially for young girls and kids, who laughed loudly were admonished. I still don’t understand the reason for this strange attitude.

                There a few simple interventions that we can make to improve our quality of life. We should make a conscious effort to smile and laugh more often, seek company of those who are playful and make people laugh around them, appreciate humor in daily experiences. And if the stress levels get too high to handle then watch some comedy shows, funny movies, read funny books or anything that brings a smile to your face.

                So, now you know the power of laughter. Keep laughing and take on the challenges that come your way.

By N Suguna

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