Thursday, March 22, 2012

Laughter is the best medicine

The old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine,” does have very strong merit and laughing has proven to provide many health benefits, mentally, physically and socially. Of course, while we can't reset a broken leg with laughter, apparently, we can help our body heal faster by finding as many reasons as possible to laugh. Laughter reduces our stress hormones and helps to relax our muscles. It can even help our body release endorphins that relieve pain. Laughter is also known to increase blood flow, which in turn brings more oxygen to all parts of our body and may even help protect our heart.

The emotional and social value of laughing is something I think most of us are aware of. If you've ever been in a tense situation when someone cracked a joke and the tension completely dissolved, you know what I mean. Laughing can reduce or dissolve anger and anxiety. People who laugh a lot are less likely to be overwhelmed by sadness or suffer from lengthy depressions. In groups or at work, laughter helps people to feel more bonded and work together better as a team.

Needless to say, my friend was home from the hospital in record time. The doctors and nurses all commented on how quickly she recovered and how energetic she seemed given the severity of the illness that brought her to the hospital. She is certain that it was her laugh therapy that made all the difference.

I hope this reminds you of the value of laughter in making life better. When you find lots of reasons to laugh, you develop a perspective that, even in the toughest of situations, can help you become more resilient and able to cope with whatever life brings.

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