Firstly, it is impossible to feel stressed when you laugh.
When we laugh our physiology literally changes. Our blood pressure goes down and our heart health improves. The body releases its natural “happy hormones” (endorphins), which lift our mood, and reduces its production of the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol.
One of the other benefits of laughing is that we tend to breathe more deeply, which is good for the lungs and the supply of oxygen to our cells. Our blood vessels relax, improving blood circulation.
In addition to this, laughter has a positive effect on the immune system and the brain.
There are also social benefits of laughing. It is hard to be angry with someone when you are laughing. A shared laugh strengthens relationships and enhances teamwork. This is why many companies employ comedians for staff development days.
In fact laughter’s effect on our wellbeing is similar to that of exercise.
Some people really struggle to laugh and there are now classes run on how to laugh. There is even a form of laughter yoga. Strange as it sounds, some of us need to re-learn how to laugh and these sorts of classes can be very beneficial.
The first step, however, is a change in attitude. Everything has a funny side if you look for it. Next time, rather than get frustrated at events in life, laugh at them. We cannot influence all the events in life but we can control how we respond to them.
Choosing to look for the funny side and to be less serious will benefit your health and the more of us who do this, the more society will benefit as well.
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