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Stress Relief From Laughter
Dated: July 8 2013
When you start to laugh, it lightens your load mentally and causes changes in your body. Laughter can:
Stimulate many organs. When you laugh, you:
Breathe in more oxygen-rich air
Stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles
Increase endorphins released by your brain
Activate and relieve your stress response.
A belly-shaking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, leaving you relaxed.
Laughter can also boost circulation and help relax muscles, which helps reduce some physical symptoms of stress.
Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up. It's also good for you over the long haul.
Improve your immune system.
Negative thoughts turn into chemical reactions. These can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and lowering your ability to fight illness. Positive thoughts release substances in the brain that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. It may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
Increase personal satisfaction.
Laughter can make it easier to cope with difficult situations, and help you connect with others.
How to improve - or gain- a sense of humor
Want a stronger funny bone? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or improving your sense of humor may be easier than you think.
Put humor on your horizon. Find photos or comic strips that make you chuckle and place them where you can see them. Keep funny movies near for when you need a humor boost.
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Laugh about your own situations and watch stress fade. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
Share a laugh. Spend time with friends who make you laugh.
Knock-knock. Find joke books at your local bookstore or library and collect a few rib ticklers to share.
Know what isn't funny. Don't laugh at the expense of others. Use your best judgment to tell a good joke from a bad, or hurtful, one.l
Laughter is the best medicine.
Give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and laugh, and then see how you feel. Are your muscles less tense? Do you feel more relaxed? That's the natural wonder of laughter at work.
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