Laughter is the best medicine
How many times have you heard laughter is the best medicine? As it turns out – it is! People have known the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of laughter for centuries.
One of my morning rituals is to find a funny clip on YouTube that makes me smile and laugh. Sometimes it’s a joke. Or, I might watch a scene from Carol Burnet. If all else fails, I turn to my favorite which is the laugh scene from Mary Poppins.
I make it a point in every session with a client that we at least smile and better yet find a moment to laugh. When someone is at the end of life I ask them to tell me about a funny time in their life. If it’s a person who is grieving the loss of their life partner, I’ll ask that person to tell me about something funny about their loved one.
Even in the depths of grief, trauma, anxiety, depression or illness, laughter heals.
Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.
~ Mark Twain
Laugh daily to reduce pain, increase job performance, connect emotionally with people, and improve the flow of oxygen to your heart and brain.
Here are some of the benefits of laughter:
- Laughter boosts your immunity by increasing your natural killer cells and it decreases stress hormones.
- Laughter relaxes your whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter relieves pain. You are less bothered by the pain that you experience.
- Laughter improves your mood. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Laughter reduces blood sugar levels, increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and nondiabetics alike.
- Laughter burns calories. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
- Laughter improves your job performance, especially if your work depends on creativity and solving complex problems.
- Laughter may help you to live longer. A Norway study found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
- Laughter adds joy to your life.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- A good laugh strengthens relationships.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
- Laughter diffuses anger and helps put things into perspective.
Be careful! Laughter is contagious
According to Wikipedia, “A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.”
When someone smiles at you, your reaction is to smile back. When someone is laughing, you naturally laugh with them.
So be careful! Laughter is contagious.
Love to laugh
Make laughter a daily habit. You were born to laugh. If you have children, remember when they were a few weeks old? They smile and laugh.
Here are some ways to make sure you laugh each day:
- Lighten up. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments
- Watch a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video (my favorite is the laugh scene from Mary Poppins)
- Sing the song, I love to laugh
- Subscribe to laughter websites (Daily Laughers is my favorite)
- Invite friends or co-workers to go to a comedy club
- Read the funny pages (the first thing I read in the newspaper)
- Share a good joke or a funny story
- Play with a pet
- Take a “laughter yoga” class
- Play with children
- Do something silly
- Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke)
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I love to laugh loud and long and clear!
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