More Benefits of Laughter

Taken from Julia Guirgis in Vibrant Life magazine (vibrantlife.com

We are always looking for ways we can strengthen and improve ourselves, seniors appreciate discovering ways to accomplish to more improvements to our well being.  We’ve consider ways to use laughter to strengthen and improve our bodies, let’s now look at other techniques to aid our self improvement efforts.

People who laugh easily often have better self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.  They also experience countless health benefits, including stress relief, increased energy, and improved mental clarity and problem-solving skills.  By boosting serotonin, laughter works as a natur”Laughter works as a natural  antidepressant.

“The more you laugh, the more lively you feel,” says Cris Popp, founder of Laughter Works.  “Laughter takes away your worries and tensions and helps you concentrate on you task.”

“Laughter helps release negative emotions and pent-up tension, particularly anger, anxiety, fear, and boredom,” says Popp.  “It’s great for anything that involves innovation and creativity.  Stress and anxiety restrict the mind, while laughter releases it.”

Michael Cortina, director of outpatient services at the Regional Mental Health Center in Merrillville, Indiana, found that even serious conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be improved with laughter therapy.

We Feel Better

“It is absolutely revolutionary.  It eliminates the negative effect and emotional distress of the trauma in one session,” Cortina said.

Laughter also helps relieve a common concern: forgetfulness.  According to a study of elderly patients a Loma Linda University, people who watched a funny video that made them laugh before a memory test scored higher than those who didn’t.  By reducing the stress hormone cortison, which is known to damage neurons in the brain, laughter improves memory.

Laughter doesn’t happen only as a result of hearing jokes or watching sitcoms.  Simply spending time with friends and family is one of the best ways to laugh more.  Research has found that laughter is contagious -- so your more likely to laugh in the company of others than on your own.

Helps Other People Feel Better

“When we see people laugh…, we tend to react be displaying the same behavior….As soon as we see or hear someone laugh, our neurons are simulated and they ‘fire off’ so the we have an automatic response and laugh took,” says Lyle.

When you engage in a positive way with someone, you rebalance your nervous system and put a halt to defensive stress responses.  Laughing with someone makes you feel happier, more positive, and more relaxed regardless of you circumstances.

It Strengthens Relationships

All emotional sharing strengthens relationship bonds, but sharing laughter has an added benefit because it causes the release of oxytocin, also known as the empathy hormone, which helps bond individuals in a greater way.  That’s why humor can be helpful in bulding strong teams, healing resentments, and overcoming disagreements and hurts.

Laughter can also be used as in icebreaker for managing conflict and reducing tension during heated moments.  Whether you're with your spouse, friends, family, or coworkers, humor can be useful in smoothing over disagreements and lowering stress levels.

Have you had a good laugh lately?  As we have seen, there a lot of good reasons for us to be more intentional about finding or creating more healthy reasons to laugh heartily!

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