Everybody loves to laugh. Some people are somewhat self conscious about their laugh, because they think it doesn’t sound nice or because some people snort when they laugh, but these are all things you should never worry about. Laughing is a natural process, an expression of deep rooted feelings of contentment. But most importantly of all, laughing makes you feel good. It is that simple statement, that countless people all over the world have made again and again, that set the ball rolling in the minds of a number of therapists who are dedicated to improving people’s health, well being and feelings of contentment. Since looking into laughter benefits, the process has snowballed.
The Many Health Benefits of Laughter
So what are some of the benefits of laughter? Laughing benefits us in countless different ways, some directly and some indirectly. An indirect benefit of laughter is that we simply feel better, which is a feeling we can carry with us for the rest of the day. Let’s look in a little bit more detail about the laughter health link. Laughter benefits us by:
• Lowering our blood pressure
• Increasing our vascular blood flow as well as the oxygenation of the blood
• Giving our diaphragm and muscles a workout (the muscles used in laughter include respiratory, abdominal, leg, facial and back muscles)
• Reducing our levels of adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones)
• Increasing the response of cells within our body that kill tumors and diseases
• Defending us against infections in our lungs (did you know that people who laugh a lot are less susceptible to colds?)
• Increasing our memory and cognitive abilities
• Improving our creativity and alertness
It should be clear that the laughter health link has been demonstrated, when you know that all of these areas have been specifically studied and monitored across various demographics. Like crying, laughing is a universal language and for good reason.
Laughter health benefits are so vast that more and more therapies and treatments have started to come into existence. Laughter health benefits, as said, are such that they increase both our physical and mental health, which is hugely important. One cannot be healthy without the other, which is the main starting point of laughter therapy.
As said, laughter gives you a nearly full body workout, as well as releasing endorphins, which reduce stress. Best of all, even if you fake laugh, your body will still get the same benefits. A laughter therapist will try to help people attending the group laugh more easily. If you were to feel self conscious, you could also take private therapy sessions. There will be a warm up and a range of activities will then follow that are designed to make you giggle. Some people may find it difficult to start laughing, but faking it works just as well.
Another increasingly popular form of laughter therapy is yoga therapy. Here, laughter is combined with the breathing exercises from yoga. This will allow you to not only enjoy the stress releasing endorphins, but also the centering benefits of yoga.
Do beware that the day after your laughter therapy session, you will certainly feel some strain and pain in your muscles. However, this is a sign that you have worked out well, so don’t worry about that too much. As you can see, health and laughter and inextricably linked. It is for good reason that people often say laughter is the best medicine.