Laughter is (still) the best medicine

I know I have written about laughter before, but I saw this video Marc Cramer posted on Facebook this morning and just had to share…

laughter is contagious!

This video is proof that a good chuckle is contagious, to anyone and anywhere. It has also been proved to be medicinal with its amazingly positive affect on every organ in our body. Even our immune systems and the condition of our blood vessels are boosted by a good laugh.

Have you ever noticed that people who are asked what they look for in a partner say they want someone that makes them laugh? That’s because laughter makes everyone, from babies to seniors feel good.

I bet everyone watching and listening to that man (stranger) laugh felt great for a long time afterward. I know I did.

Anger, laughter and your immune system

 

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It has been said that one minute of anger weakens your immune system for four to five hours, while one minute of laughter boosts your immune system for over twenty-four hours.   I’ve read these statements several different places recently; I believe scientists are on to something.

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Think about it for a minute.  When something or someone angers you, your blood pressure rises, your heart races, and you get a sick feeling in your stomach.  I know I do.  But did you realize that the sick feeling you get can manifest into something more sinister if it persists?  The sick feeling spreads throughout your body, causing stress on all of your organs.  It has been scientifically proven that stress has been linked to many health conditions and disease states.

Conversely, after a good laugh, you feel great and stress or tension is relieved, improving your mood, your outlook, and even your physical appearance!  I posted an article about the scientific benefits of laughter a while back.  Yesterday, when chatting with a dear friend,  I was reminded how anger can cause stress; inspiration for today’s post.

If you find yourself in any relationship that evokes prolonged and unresolvable anger, angst, tension, stress, or sadness, move on and let it go before you cause any permanent damage to your health!

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Laughter is the Best Medicine

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Way back in grade nine I had an assignment to write an essay on a one word subject; my word was laughter.  Of course I cannot remember exactly what I wrote, but I do remember getting a great mark on it.  I also remember researching, yes researching, laughter and learning how good it is for you.  Today, laughter is still recommended as one of the best medicines…

There are many reasons laughter is good for you:

  •  Laughter activates the portion of your brain that produces endorphins which  are natural pain killers.
  • Laughter can boost your immune system by increasing the production of cells responsible for making antibodies and enhancing the effectiveness of T-cells.
  • Laughter therapy is used to relieve stress and anxiety, relaxing the whole body.
  • Laughter causes our hypothalamus to release nitric oxide which causes the inner lining of our blood vessels to dilate.  This dilation increases blood flow and so improves the function of the blood vessels, which can prevent heart disease. Nitric oxide is also beneficial in reducing inflammation as well as preventing platelet clumping in our bloodstreams.
  • Laughter can reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine.
  • Laughter can improve your mood and add joy to your life.
  • Laughter can strengthen relationships, reduce conflicts, and improve teamwork.

Laughter is a physical reaction involving contractions of the diaphragm of humans (and some primates) in response to either external or internal stimuli, yet is usually an expression of a positive emotional state, such as joy, happiness or relief.

Laughter is a natural and free form of medicine that can provide physical and emotional benefits to  everyone.  Beware, laughter is also very contagious!