Laugh Away Your Stress


It is sad and unfortunate but true that we don’t laugh adequately in our short lives. An interesting study has revealed that on an average, children in good health and in a conducive environment laugh about 400 times a day whereas adults in the same condition do so only about 10 to 15 times a day. Doctors argue that this is certainly an unhealthy statistic and that laughing is as important as eating. While it may not cure all your ailments, there is sufficient evidence that it acts as a safety valve that suppresses all unhealthy stress hormones such as  cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine, and at the same time enhances the levels of endorphins. Let’s look at a few benefits that laughter can bring to you:

1. A good burst of laugh allows oxygen rich air to be transported to our lungs, increases blood supply to our heart, and multiplies the number of endorphins released by our brain. There you have it! Great recipe with all the ingredients for a feel-good kick.

2. Laughter is induced by positive or hilarious thoughts. When our mind triggers these thoughts and in turn laughter, certain chemical reactions take place in our body that release  neuropeptides which specifically bring down stress and we feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

3. Researchers estimate (and this may surprise you) that 100 laughs equal a 10 minute walk or cycling. The science behind this theory is that intense burst of laughter is like an aerobic workout that works out our diaphragm, abdominal muscles, face, leg and back muscles. This is precisely why we feel exhausted after laughing for a long time.

Now that you know why giving a hearty laugh a miss is a bad idea, following are a few tips to induce that magical giggle.

1. Get hold of comedy movies or simply tune yourself to hilarious shows on television. Books can also serve the same purpose. Also, it is always a great idea to watch such shows in the company of family or friends. Laughter is infectious and in the right company, spreads like wild fire.

2. Turn negative thoughts into positive ones. Its difficult but certainly achievable. If there is a certain situation that frustrates you no end, just laugh at it. Ridicule the situation in your own mind as if you don’t care about it.

3. Its difficult to laugh when there is no reason to. However, the good news is that you can fake it. Your body cannot make out the difference between a natural or an artificial laugh. Even with a fake but loud laughter, the reactions inside your body will be exactly the same as if it were a real laugh.

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