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Laugh your way to better health

Laughter
Laughter
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Have you ever laughed so much that your stomach hurt? In times of hardship, sometimes we don’t often realize how infrequently we allow ourselves to laugh. Laughter is truly the best medicine and this applies in both a physical and a psychological way. Laughter has proven to be just as effective, if not more so, than meditating. When we allow ourselves the release, we are immediately able to feel the effect it has on our bodies.

Laughter is not exclusive to social situations, and is not always about humor. It could be as simple as watching a movie or TV show or attending a comedy show. Sometimes laughter can be found in the big moments and the small moments in life. Whether at a family gathering or thinking about a funny anecdote from the past, laughter is all around us.

Psychological research on successful marriages explains that laughter is very important in maintaining an emotionally positive relationship. Laughter has been shown to foster relationships, bringing people together and synchronizing their brains. You may not have realized this, but like yawning, laugher and smiling are contagious: so do it more often!

If you ask a single woman what she is looking for in a significant other, it is almost guaranteed that “a sense of humor” is somewhere on that list. Even the iconic Audrey Hepburn once said “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.”

Laughter has been shown to present solutions to patients with diabetes, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses. While laughing is rarely prescribed, it is something that everyone wishes to do more of. The laughter itself may not be the cure, but the good feelings and positive social interactions that come along with laughter can greatly change a mood and increase the desire to live.

“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.”
- Robert Frost

Laughing for no reason, without any stimulus, has also been proven to reduce stress. Some call this Laughter Yoga, in which uncontrollable laughter is combined with Yogic breathing. You can read more about Laughter Yoga (and find clubs to join) at www.laughteryoga.org/.

Overall, everyone can use a little more laughter in their lives. We should all be laughing on a daily basis. The benefits are endless:

- It relaxes the whole body.
- It boosts the immune system.
- It triggers the release of endorphins.
- It protects the heart.
- It lowers stress hormones.
- It eases negative emotional situations.
- It fosters relationships and friendships.
- It helps provide joyful support.

What makes you laugh? W e need to keep these moments close. Living in the moment really helps. Be conscious of the times you are happiest, the times you are laughing: enjoy these moments.

It may not be laughs all the time but finding your trigger points and infusing each day with a little bit of love and laughter will make for a happier and more appreciative life.

Laughter takes you away from the usual and the boring. Try it out.

“Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables