Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Power of Laughter

" A Cheerful heart is good medicine" Provebs 17:22

Laughter is good for your physical health

• Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

• 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. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter is good for your mental health

• Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.

• Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.

• 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.

Laugher has social benefits as well:

• Strengthens relationships
• Attracts others to us
• Enhances teamwork
• Helps defuse conflict
• Promotes group bonding

Here are some ways to start:

• Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.

• Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When in a state of sadness, we have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.

• When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”

• Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.

• Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”

The following was found at
www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm Go there to find more information on laughter.

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