Laughter is a titanic antidote against pain and stress and is powerful in healing and renewing. A good laugh can keep you focused, alert, lighten your burden and inspire hope. Laughter can also enhance your relationships and support your physical and emotional health.
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. By having a good and hearty laugh you can relieve physical tension, stress and leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. This happens due to the release of Endorphins from your brain. These are the body’s natural feel good chemicals which promote an overall sense of well being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter can also decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection fighting antibodies, which can drastically improve your resistance to disease. Laughter can also protect your heart by improving the functions of the blood vessels and increasing your blood flow and thus protecting you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
When we laugh we stretch our muscles throughout our faces and bodies, our blood pressure and pulse go up, it works out our diaphragm, abdomen, back and shoulders, we breath faster thus sending more oxygen into our tissues. This of course burns calories. How many calories can one burn when laughing? Well researchers at the University of Vanderbilt in a recent study found that a grown adult can burn an average of 1.3 calories per minute of laughing. That would equal the same amount of calories burned while taking notes in a classroom or standing and talking on the phone. How about that! This means that if you watch your favorite comedy video for one hour you can burn and average of 78 calories, if you laugh continually throughout.
Even though our forefathers could not explain it scientifically, they intuitively knew that a good laugh was good not only for the body but for the soul as well. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” Says the Old Testament.
In our day and age of modern technology we have a better understanding of how laughter can affect human physiology. Endorphins are created in our brains in response to laughter and this simple compound can reduce ones pain. T-cells, immune proteins called globulins and interferon which all can strengthen ones immune functions are also produced more in abundance when you’re having a good belly laugh. And don’t forget about what t laughter can do to your stress levels. When we are under stress our bodies produce a hormone named cortisol. A good laugh can dramatically lower ones cortisol levels and help return your body to a more chilled and relaxed state.
Humor can also have a good impact on your intellect and your emotional functioning’s as it allows our creativity to be triggered, can aid us in overcoming fear, can also help us in taking ourselves less seriously and put our life’s trials and tribulations into a wholesome and healthy perspective by helping in making them seem smaller and easier to manage.
So there you go, you have a choice to continue in letting all the frustrations and disappointments in life bear you down or you can introduce levity into the hardest of circumstances. Whether it’s watching a funny TV show, playing charades with your family or visiting a comedy club, laughter will certainly give you a happy hands up in maintain a good and healthy body. If you don’t see someone with a smile, give them yours!