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Laughter is the best Medicine for stress

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Stress – Most of us have some experience with stress, anxiety, panic attack disorders, inflammation and pain whether suffering ourselves or experiencing it through a friend or family member. All of these health concerns are related to various diseases. In every disease one or more of the afflictions exist. If no obvious disease is diagnosed at present, ongoing stress, anxiety, inflammation and pain will precipitate a health problem.

The chaos around us and fast paced living adds to the problem amplifying the reaction/disease response.

Looking for answers or suggestions to avoid illness or slow its progress by helping ourselves, I found the usual exercise and eating well to stay healthier studies. I think many of us are trying to follow some guidelines however there are confusing and conflicting claims out there making choices difficult….a topic for another week.

The one claim I found interesting was about the effects of Laughter. The positive side of exploring laughter is that it is not complicated! Laughter can help all disorders. It only has positive side effects and everyone can do it! Some may believe that they don’t have a sense of humour… No Problem! Humour can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humour may be easier than you think. Start with simple things like finding a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies and books on hand for when you need an added humour boost. Look online at joke websites. Laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.

A good sense of humour can’t cure all ailments, but there is evidence about the positive things laughter can do. A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. (Mayo Clinic stress management)

Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term. Laughter may improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses. It can relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations and improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

The laughter information I really enjoyed was about Laughter Yoga. In laughter yoga, people practice laughter as a group. Laughter is forced at first, but it can soon turn into spontaneous laughter. At first people feel shy and silly participating in this group laughter but it becomes catchy. I watched a few u-tubes about it and must admit that they made me chuckle. Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you’ve had your chuckle, think about how you are feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed? If so that’s the natural wonder of laughing at work.

By Donna Byrne – info@mtltimes.ca

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