Laughter is one of the most innate quality and unique in nature of human behavior. It is the physiological response of the brain to humor and includes sound effects and different gestures.
Laughter distracts you from negativity and acts as a great medicine and provides psychological, physical, emotional and social benefits. Laughing is a celebration of good things in our life and we express our feelings through it. A good hearty laughter not only makes us feel good but also makes everyone around us feel good.
Ayurveda believes that we can heal ourselves by nourishing our five senses but cultivating our sixth sense of humor also enlivens our health and well-being. In today's fast-paced life, we experience a lot of stress and tensions in our life. Finding humor in difficult situations makes us look at the other perspectives and opens up new avenues. Laughter makes us temporarily free from our current state and takes us to a new world.
"Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer" written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
Laughing has many benefits. Top ten of them are:
Laughing is the best internal workout technique. Though it is a simple process when we have a good laugh, it exercises our respiratory system, abdomen, diaphragm and even our shoulders. While laughing, people take deep breathes thus unclogging airways and increasing oxygen intake. A good laugh makes you calm and muscles are also more relaxed.
Laughter and a good sense of humor is a great stress buster. It causes a decrease in cortisol and epinephrine which are stress hormones. Simultaneously, laughter increases health-enhancing hormones thus making us feel good.
So whenever you are stressed out, just watch some good comedy shows and have good time cracking jokes with your family and friends.
Laughter is even helpful in treating insomnia and also helps in improving the quality of sleep. Laughter induces our brain to produce sleep hormone melatonin that helps us to sleep better.
To have a good night's sleep, spend the evening with family and friends and have a good laugh sharing stories and jokes. It will release stress and anxiety and induce a good sound and peaceful night’s sleep.
Depression patients can benefit immensely from laughter therapy. It helps reducing depression in elderly people. Laughter induces feel-good hormones and reduces stress-related hormone. Laughter makes a person feel positive and positivity in life greatly improves attitude towards life and thus reduces chances of feeling loneliness and depression. Joining a comedy club can greatly reduce depression.
New studies have proven that laughter increases anti-infection antibodies as well as T-cells in the blood and thus strengthen our immune system. If our immune system is strong then we would be less susceptible to infections and would be protected from cold, cough and other infections.
Laughter can work as a natural painkiller. Laughter produces feel-good hormones or endorphins which work much better than morphine in relieving pain. Secondly, laughter diverts your mind from the thoughts of pain and thus can help in breaking the pain-spasm cycle. Studies reveal that people who laugh a lot and have a positive attitude can withstand 10 times more pain than the others.
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Diabetes can be kept under control by laughter therapy. It can reduce blood sugar levels among Type2 diabetic patients. It is believed that laughter affects neuroendocrine system which monitors glucose levels. Though the exact cause is yet not known maybe energy used by stomach muscles helps in controlling sugar levels. Laughter can help diabetic to avoid microvascular related complications.
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Laughter strengthens the heart and it functions better with exercise. Laughter helps in fighting against atherosclerosis and reduces chances of heart attack by increasing vascular blood flow. During a good laugh, heart tissues with the lining of blood vessels expand and pumps more blood flow.
Laughter also reduces the blood pressure and thus keeps your heart healthy and away from cardiovascular problems. 15 minutes of hearty laughter is a must for a healthy heart.
Laughter makes you look young and healthy as when we laugh or smile, we use 15 facial muscles together and thus increases the blood flow to the face. A good laugh also induces positivity and improves physical and emotional health and which surely makes you look younger and glowing.
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Laughter energizes mind and body as while laughing we take deep breaths and thus increase blood flow which results in the increased supply of oxygen to various body organs and muscles. This makes us feel energetic.
Laughter therapy is the best therapy to increase vitality, alertness, memory, creativity, and positivity in life and thus a holistic way of improving our physical, psychological and emotional well-being.