1. Laughter releases endorphins, which promote a feeling of well being and pain reduction.
2. Laughter decreases stress hormones to help fight infection and disease.
3. Laughter increases blood flow, and improves overall cardiovascular health
4. Laughter reduces tension and leaves muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
5. Laughing with others creates a positive bond with them.
So, in summary, these five tips about laughter being GREAT "medicine" are free and easy to incorporate into your life. Remember, laughing is contagious, and fun to share. Laughing with people can enhance your life, as well as the lives of those with whom you live and work.
It's important to remember that laughing with people is not the same as laughing AT people, which, when feeling down, is sometimes the easier thing to do. Easier, but with none of the mentioned benefits.
Sometimes life presents tragic and depressing situations to work through. They are not laughing matters per se, but remembering the benefits of laughter, even as processing the tragedies of life will shorten your recovery time, and get you back to living life with purpose and joy. Good luck!
Laurene Larson, MS, LPC
1. Keep a positive attitude! New brain research demonstrates this is a powerful antidote to both stress and depression, and when we believe things are going to be alright the chance we relax increases dramatically.
2. Accept that there ARE events you can not control. Letting go of worry is powerful and relaxing.
3. Take 15-20 minutes to relax, and another 15-20 to exercise. Your mind and body benefit from daily doses of both.
4. Maintain social connections. Having friends, clubs, coworkers to debrief and share ideas, problems and concerns with benefits our mental and physical health. Even pets have shown to be stress reducers!
5. Laugh. Laughter is, indeed, great medicine! Laughing expands our lungs, stimulates the heart and other muscles, and increases the brain’s release of endorphins. What better pain killer could there be?