Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. So start tickling that funny bone and live well!
Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body:
Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Laughter protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re in the middle of a good giggle.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
The ability to laugh easily and frequently throughout our day gives us opportunities to heal and renew. Laughter is an innate, easy, free resource for shifting perceptions, overcoming problems, improving relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Let loose and laugh more to improve your life…and health!
Tips to increase laughter for vibrant living:
Laugh at yourself. Keep things in perspective. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously. Look for the humor in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
Surround yourself with people and reminders to lighten up. Surround yourself with funny, uplifting people & avoid those who bring you down. Read, listen to, or watch something funny. Go to a comedy club or try out karaoke. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
Employ stress reduction techniques. Stress is a major impediment to humor and laughter. Be grateful & count your blessings. When you are grateful, you are joyful, optimistic, and living in the present moment. You are opening up your heart and closing the door on negativity. Humor takes you to a higher place where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive, creative, joyful, and balanced perspective.
Learn from children. Kids are experts on laughing, playing, and being in the moment. Be silly with them! Guaranteed laughter!
Play with pets. Animals are hilarious. Watch your pet respond to a new toy or environment, and let the chuckling begin!
Let go of judgements. When you are more spontaneous and release inhibitions, fears, judgments, criticisms, and doubts of yourself or others, humor comes naturally. When you stop taking yourself so seriously, laughter comes easily!
Try laughter yoga. I tried it once to see what it was about. It was definitely strange and silly at first, but once I got over my own judgment, it made me laugh so hard for that hour that I had tears in my eyes! I walked out of that class feeling lighter, brighter, and more joyful.
Joke of the day:
My favorite exercise is a cross between a lunge and a crunch. I call it lunch.
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