Laughter is a universal language which has the same emotional and physical effects on our body and mind – no matter where in the world you are or what language you speak – dating back to before humans could speak! We are all aware that it is no myth that laughter makes us happy. Laughter is not something we can force or train ourselves to do. Unlike smiling, we cannot trick our brains to believe we are laughing – it has to be a natural reaction, to feel the real effects of laughter on our mind and body. Our role is to take every opportunity to laugh, be mindful, to make room for and allow laughter to be a constant part of our lives.
Coming from a line of women who love to laugh, there has never been shortage of laughter in my life…..I am rarely seen without a smile, that said we all have that moment where we need to step out of the norm and reach out for external sources. It was one such moment when I first experienced the impact that laughter can have on our mind and body. It was after a challenging week at work and home, I came home from work and was in desperate need of some laughter, I picked up (dare I say and is it still relatable) a friends DVD. It was the funniest laugh out loud episode I’d seen, I was absolutely hysterical. Needless to say I felt a boost in energy and was twirling around all smiles and positive energy that spanned from my inner depths to the aura around me, an instant shift in my emotional and physical state – I had just experienced my first real effects of Laughter Therapy!!
Over the years research and studies have been carried out about the effects and benefits of laughter on the human mind and body and many have found positive effects such as mood change and a boost to the immune system.
Benefits of laughter:
- Known to Strengthen the immune system
- Reduces fatigue and boosts energy levels – the more you laugh the more energetic you feel
- Known to relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers
- Strengthens muscles (yes! you are working out when laughing out loud, nice addition to your exercise regime)
- Helps Maintain a Healthy Mind – Known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol
- Mood lifting – post a laugh out loud moment you will feel euphoric and happy
- Releases endorphins which can make us feel excited and full of zest for life.
- Makes us more sociable – can be used as a tool to help us to relax in new social situations.
- An Attracting Force – Laughter attracts others to us
- Laughter makes us happy
The 10 Day Laughter Challenge!
Now that we can see some of the benefits of laughter – Let’s get laughing!
For the next week be mindful of your plans and activities and conversations and take every opportunity to laugh, create a weekly plan which includes a lot of laughter. Challenge yourself to laugh out loud.
So now that you’ve set yourself the challenge here are a few suggestion to get you started:
- Laughter Yoga: A raging storm, this is the new fun and exciting form of yoga and a fantastic way to get your laughter challenge started, find your nearest workshop or class…..not only will you leave the session laughing silly but may also meet some fun and interesting new people along the way.
- Read a funny book: There’s nothing quite like having your head stuck in a book and suddenly bursting out and falling to bits and trying to catch your breath. Not only that but a little chuckle out loud moment in a public place like a coffee shop, the train or bus adds a little inner excitement.
- Comedy DVD: A night in with yourself, some lovely snacks or naked juices which ever you prefer and a box of tissues, whether it’s a comedy marathon you plan, a Movie that’s been on your ‘when the moment is right list’ or an episode of your favourite comedy series after work…get that ‘laughter time’ into your diary now!!…..and if you want to share the moment with a friend give them a call – you’ll probably laugh louder and harder with a friend who you shares your sense of humour. Laugh yourself to tears.
- Plan and meet up with friends – Friends that make you laugh: Think of some friends that you haven’t seen for a while who you’ve gone out with and laughed so hard your stomach hurt and you struggled to catch your breath….get on that phone and arrange a night out!
- Live Comedy Act: It’s a night out and an opportunity to socialise, make it a local event and support your community the laughter is a bonus.
Don’t stop here be creative and think about other ways that you can bring laughter in to your life and we would love to hear your ideas too!
Laughter is contagious pass it on!!!
Posted by Summer Smith, 31 May 2015