Firstly, a question for you… have you laughed today?

Laughter is a free and powerful medicine that we need to take more of!

A task for you: Once a day try to 1. consciously laugh out loud and 2. make somebody else smile/laugh.

It’s always fun to have a good old laugh! But were you aware that it can actually improve your health? Laughter can create emotional and physical changes in the body. It has the power to make you feel good and what’s amazing is that the positive feelings really do remain with you once the laughter subsides. You can’t feel anxious or sad when your laughing so why not do it some more!

Humour can help people maintain a positive outlook through the harder situations in life such as in arguments or through loss. In the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way in making you feel better. There will always a lighter, funnier perspective to every situation – you just have to find it! It is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile!

When the mind and body are out of balance, laughter is one of the fastest ways to bring you back to a centred state. It can be a very effective remedy for stress. Humour has the power to change your mental state, create connections amongst people, keeps one focused, alert and it lightens the mood.

Wowza- it has so many benefits and it’s free!

Laughter is asunbeamof the soul

Health benefits of laughter

It releases endorphins – the bodies natural painkillers – also known as our feel good chemicals! When endorphins are released we feel less pain and less of the negative effects of stress.

It boosts the immune system. Laughter reduces your amount of stress hormones and it increases the amount of immune cells you have. Therefore, your body will be stronger at fighting disease.

It’s relaxing as laughter releases tension in both the body and mind.

It’s good for cardiac health as laughing gets your heart pumping. Therefore its great for those who are incapable of doing other physical activity due to injury or illness.

It could make you live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t so much. The difference was largely noticeable in people who had cancer.

It burns calories & works the abs – no this does not mean that you get to skip the gym! But… one study found that laughing for 10 – 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 50 calories. Laughing also contracts the abs soooo… get laughing – wowza!

It diffuses anger. Nothing can get rid of anger faster than having a good old laugh. If you can look at the humorous side of the situation – it may let you see things from a different perspective which can allow you to move on in a more positive way.

Plus there is more!

Physical health benefits of laughter:

  • Releases good chemicals in your body
  • Boosts immunity
  • Reduces pain and stress hormones
  • Eases your muscles
  • Reduces risk of getting heart disease

Mental health benefits of laughter:

  • Adds happiness to your life
  • Helps to relax negative thoughts
  • It changes ones state – improves mood
  • It shifts ones perspective
  • It can ease anxiety / tension

Social benefits of laughter:

  • Its good for making relationships stronger
  • It helps to diffuse anger or conflict
  • Good for group bonding / teamwork
  • Breaks down barriers between people /awkwardness
Even animals love to laugh!

How to bring more laughter into your life

Some of us do naturally laugh our way through life where as for others (especially as adults) it is sometimes harder to see the lighter side to things. If you think back to when you were a child, within the first weeks of being alive you would smile and laugh out loud at anything and everything – so we can all have humour in our lives if we wish! So if you do need a little help with laughing, here are extra little tips that can help incorporate it into your life:

Smile. Smiling prompts laughter and positive, good feelings within your body.  Plus it is very contagious! It helps to release the good chemicals! If you catch eye contact with somebody or you see something good – practice smiling (even if it is just too yourself!) Make a conscious effort to not look at your phone so much and rather take in your surroundings. Smile at people in the street, on the tube, your co-workers or the people who make you coffee. It will have a really noticeable effect on others and in turn this will make you feel even happier!

Gratitude. Think about all the good things in your life. This will take you away from negative thoughts (the ones that block laughing and smiling!)

Spend time with fun, lighthearted people. People who laugh easily either at themselves or at the craziness of this life! Their laughter will be contagious!

Ask questions about peoples humour. Ask them, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today/ in your life?

Laughing therapy

So, if you really cant find seem to find something funny then believe it or not, it is possible for you to have a laugh without actually having something to laugh at. This will offer the same benefits to you as actually naturally laughing as such. This can be quite fun – (some people may think its a little weird but so what?!)

You can either look for a laughing therapy group or you can try this yourself and have a play around with it!

If trying this yourself; you can either simply choose to just start laughing really loud (this will often then stimulate natural laughter), or you could start to laugh at peoples jokes even if you don’t find them funny! This often leads to some real fun making it a win win!

 

So…. Try to search for the lighter side or irony in every situation and laugh it off. Smile – because you deserve to be happy & laugh your way through life because it can be a lot more fun. I wish you all the humour and smiles in the world!