Friday, October 24, 2008

Laughter, The Best Medicine

Laughter activates the chemistry of the will to live and increases our capacity to fight disease. Laughing relaxes the body and reduces problems associated with high blood pressure, strokes, arthritis, and ulcers.
Laughter's Effects on the Body:

  • People who laugh heartily on a regular basis have lower standing blood pressure than the average person.
  • Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases infection fighting antibodies. It increases our attentiveness, heart rate, and pulse.
  • Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack
  • Laughter can be a great workout for your diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles. It massages abdominal organs, tones intestinal functioning, and strengthens the muscles that hold the abdominal organs in place.
  • Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning. It eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows people to retain more information.

Benefits of Laughter:
  • Humor enhances our ability to affiliate or connect with others.
  • Humor helps us replace distressing emotions with pleasurable feelings. You cannot feel angry, depressed, anxious, guilty, or resentful and experience humor at the same time.
  • Lacking humor will cause one's thought processes to stagnate leading to increased distress.
  • Humor changes behavior – when we experience humor we talk more, make more eye contact with others, touch others, etc.
  • Humor increases energy, and with increased energy we may perform activities that we might otherwise avoid.
  • Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Humor unites us, especially when we laugh together.
  • Laughter heals.
  • Laughs and smiles are enjoyed best when shared with others.

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