Is laughter really the best medicine? Researchers are learning about the positive powers of a good laugh and how it affect a person mentally, emotionally and physically.
Laughter acts as a stress managing tool by reducing the levels of stress causing hormones in the body. These hormones range from adrenaline to cortisol and cause the body to prepare as though they are in an emergency situation. Laughing in stressful situations can cause those levels to minimize.
Laughing also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones, such as endorphins, that work as natural painkillers. The numbers of antibody-producing cells are also increased and T-cells’ effectiveness is enhanced.
Dr. Michael Miller says that laughing has great benefits on a person’s cardiovascular system and opens up the lining of the blood vessels so blood may flow better.
Laughing can also be used as a good physical workout that targets your abdominals, shoulders and other muscles. If this kind of workout sounds like one you would enjoy, there are classes available in Laughter Yoga.
This unique form of yoga is a combination of breathing techniques and laughing. It is both relaxing and aerobic, but you do have to bring your sense of humor. Laughter Yoga Club is an Ohio-based free program that meets every second Wednesday and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Sharonville Library at 7 p.m.
To find a Laughter Yoga specialist or other Laughter Yoga Clubs, visit Dr. Kataria’s Laughter Yoga. Dr. Kataria is a family physician from Mumbai, India who started the first Laughter club in his hometown.
If you do not have time to meet, there are other ways to laugh and still get the benefits, too:
Watch Your Favorite Funny Movie
Pop in a movie that you find truly funny. This is an easy way for you to induce laughter and start feeling its positive effects. For an even bigger boost watch it with friends and laugh together.
Laugh with Friends
Go to a comedy club with a group of friends. Laughter is contagious and it may help you to laugh more than you normally might. Your friends know you and looking silly in front of them won’t be such a bad thing.
Find Humor in Your Life
Learn to laugh at yourself. Instead of getting overly frustrated when things do not go your way, laugh. It may not sound like a good idea at the time, but the laughter that you will produce will actually help to calm the situation and reduce the stress that you feel.
Think of a time when something truly funny happened, and laugh like you were watching it for the first time ever. That one funny time may downsize your stress and up your health repeatedly.