If you want to stay healthy, be happy and live life to the fullest, learn to laugh heartily and frequently. Laughter has lots of benefits. By reading this article you will realize why laughing is important, how it can improve the quality of your life and how to laugh more often.
Laughter is defined as a form of an outward expression of happiness, amusement and pleasure. In other words, laughter is the sounds and movements that our bodies make when we find something funny. It may follow from jokes, tickling and other stimuli. It is indeed a universal language that depicts joy or happiness. Laughter is generally considered to be a normal and essential behavior of a happy and contented person whilst lack of laughter can contribute to anxiety, depression and illness.
We all want happiness in our lives but we are so bogged down by the stress of our daily life and the problems that we face. Somehow we cannot find the joy that life can provide which is really sad.
Only we ourselves can take control of our own lives and do something about it. No one can make you happy if you don’t want to. Modern science and medicine have now discovered that the more you laugh the better your health is and that is no joke.
Laughter has the following benefits:
- reduce stress – certain stress hormones levels are reduced and will provide a safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones and the fight-or-flight compounds that come into action in times of trouble or hostility or rage
- release negative emotions – which when kept bottled up may cause biochemical changes that produce illness
- help us relax – laughter can be a total body workout! Do you often feel exhausted after a bout of contagious giggling? This is because you have just had an aerobic workout. Hearty laughter engages the entire body. The head moves, arms swing, body bends.
- make us feel good – laughter releases a chemical called serotonin into our brains. This is often called the ‘feel good’ hormone because that is the effect it has on our feelings.
- strengthen our immune systems and help us recover from illness – when we are happy, there is an increase of natural killer cells that can destroy viruses and tumors
- lower blood pressure – an elevated blood pressure may lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney diseases etc
- help healing – causes an increase in vascular blood flow and in oxygenation of the blood which enables the body to repair itself
- improve respiration – supplies the lungs with oxygen
- protect the heart – gives the heart a hearty workout
- connect you to others, fun to be with – laughter is contagious, shared laughter promotes bonding, unity and solidarity within a group while having fun
Why aren’t people laughing more?
Since so much benefit can be derived from laughter, then why aren’t people laughing more? I believe one reason is lack of awareness of the beneficial effects. Also for some families, their upbringing may play a part in curtailing the amount of laughter in the home.