Friday, August 28, 2009

Crack Me Up, Please!

"Mutual laughter and play are an essential component of strong, healthy relationships. By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, you can improve the quality of your love relationships— as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends." Anonymous

I love laughing. It's fun, it's a great release, and it makes me feel good. W makes me laugh all the time. He's funny, and sometimes silly. It's one of his best qualities. Laughter isn't just fun, it's good for you.

I was reading Elephant Journal and found more proof that laughter is good for us:

According to Laughter Yoga Ireland “Laughter Yoga offers: an alternative aerobic exercise (according to Dr. William Fry of Stanford University one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine); a supplementary and preventative therapy against other ailments; natural pain relief through increasing the level of endorphins in the body; an aide in the prevention of depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders; improved breathing capacity (laughter yoga is beneficial for asthmatics, athletes, actors and singers); strengthened immune system; increased confidence and positive outlook.”

I knew this, to some degree, as I once saw a story on a small tribe somewhere (I cannot remember) who all share a small sleeping space. At random times, they wake up and laugh, and then fall back to sleep. Also, In the
docu-drama The Secret, a woman who'd been diagnosed with breast cancer started an ongoing mantra "I am thankful for my healing" and allowed no stress to enter her life. Instead, she spent her days sipping tea and watching funny movies with her husband. Just laughing all day. Four months later, her cancer was gone.

Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California have been studying the effects of laughter on the body. They have found that laughter is known to decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. 

Clearly, laughter isn't the only form of holistic medicine, or the only supplement to good health. However, I think it's an important part of healing and health. We know that stress can cause heart attacks, strokes, and countless other medical problems. Conversely, laughter can help improve the immune system, boosts your energy, ad can diminish pain. It improves the function of the blood vessels, increases blood flow. Thus, laughing improves our health.

When we are constantly down, focusing on the negative, we tend to get sick more often. Having a positive attitude and a sense of hope seems a far better option. Laughing relieves physical tension and relaxes muscles. 

We spend much of our time taking care of our bodies by eating well and exercising, yet we often downplay the mental and spiritual component. Start finding ways to laugh more. Take yourself a little less seriously. Watch funny movies. Have fun. 

And laugh!

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