They say that laughter is the best medicine.
Hmm… maybe we should look into this further – shall we?
So Exactly How Can We Benefit From Laughter?
Oh the joys of childhood when there weren’t really any stresses to speak of…. When all we had to worry about was when it was time to put away our toys and clean up our room. If we could only keep our stress levels down to that minimum again, wouldn’t that be great?
One of the biggest stresses that plague us is high blood pressure. There are so many things in our lives that can stress us, even the “little” things. Sometimes we just need to learn how to “let go” of those little things.
Did you know?
Did you know that according to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, that “After performing in an improv comedy course, people with Parkinson’s disease showed significant improvement in activities of daily living” Wow, that alone is mind boggling !
So, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then how much more ailments are kept at bay with simply a laugh or two?
While we all know that laughter is contagious, did you also know that it can help tone your abs? Yes, you heard correct. That alone should be more of an incentive for us all to find more ways to have a good laugh.
Also, according to some studies, laughter can also boost immunity, meaning that it may increase our bodies natural killer cells (the white blood cells that attack cancer cells)
Did you also know that from a Health perspective, when you smile or laugh more, you don’t get as many “frown lines” on your face. It actually takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, so imagine what laughing does to your skin.
Now we know that laughter alone will not stave off all our health problems but it can and should be incorporated into our daily healthy living practices.
Ways To Laugh More Often:
- Watch a comedy -I’m talking a gut laughing comedy with tears rolling down your cheeks
- Read a favorite comic daily
- Reward yourself now and then just because (OK, this one will make you smile, but still … 🙂
- Watch your favorite comedian
- Find a funny person who can make you laugh and befriend them (some people are just gifted that way)
- Play fun games with friends
Don’t forget to give yourself permission to just be silly – (We all need to learn to laugh at ourselves more often) and the list goes on and on …..
So how long has it been since you had a good laugh? Do more of that stuff that makes you laugh more!
I am reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950:
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
And on an interesting note …..
Let’s take a look at some things that are associated with Laughter.
Did you know there are three different kinds of laughter?
Genuine – You know …. heartfelt 🙂
Spontaneous – Like from being tickled
Simulated – Otherwise “Fake”
The Other Side ….
Did you know that laughter is not always a pleasant experience? Sometimes people have what’s known as “cataplexy” or excessive laughing or unpleasant laughing spells. I would imagine that it would cause the ribs to be quite sore. Reports have been taken from Parkinson s, Multiple Sclerosis and Psuedobulbar Palsy patients to have undesirable sensations when hearing the punch line of a joke that causes them to appear to be laughing out of amusement.
People with schizophrenic psychoses seem to have an adverse effect laughter; they seem to not get any joy out of it and do not understand the humor involved.
So my question is: Where would we all be without it? How would we cope with various life experiences? How would our relationships alone be affected if not for the laughter to make us smile? These are just a few of the concerns that would need to be answered.
Just When You Thought You Heard It All…
It has been documented that:
You can’t surprise yourself by tickling yourself
Adults laugh 15-30 times a day (of course females laugh more) Hmm… wonder why ?
Babies on the other hand – laugh 300 times per day !! (Ah but of course, they haven’t been tainted by the world yet)
Charles Darwin noted in the late 19th century that tickling and laughter is a form of bonding between a parent and a child
Why do we NOT laugh when we hit our “Funny Bone”? Because we’re actually hitting our Ulnar nerve that bumps into our Humerus
Interesting Laugh Quotes to ponder:
“People who stop laughing are always the ones who get hurt.”
― Josh Sundquist, Just Don’t Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”
― Michael Pritchard
“The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.”
― Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip
“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”
― Enid Blyton, Mr Galliano’s Circus
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
― anthony burgess
“Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel loved.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh.
But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.”
― Charlie Chaplin
A Little Bit Goes A Long Way
So all in all, spread a little laughter in your world. Make someone smile that might not have otherwise. Your health may depend on it. Your heart will thank you.
One more thing, I’m reminded of something that Victor Borge once wrote, he said: “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”
With that being said, remember to include laughter in your life ….. because a little goes a Loooooong Way.