The Best Medicine: 9 ways that laughter heals
Thoughts create reality and focus changes physiology. Here’s an example… stop right now and think about something in your past that was incredible. The birth of a child, marrying the love of your life, the first time you saw the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon or the transparent colors of the Caribbean Sea... anything you remember as magical and transformative… how does that make you feel?
Emotions of joy, happiness, and elation actually begin to energize you and change your body chemistry in ways proven to boost your immune system and relieve stress on your heart! Staying in that place of peace is possible even under the most stressful circumstances!
As an overwhelmed momma of three young daughters, I unintentionally discovered the therapeutic benefits of laughter therapy in a most delightful way! We enjoyed visiting Barnes & Noble with the girls. They loved it and we loved it. It was free entertainment and we enjoyed exploring and selecting books for each of us. On one excursion, we found a book that seemed age appropriate for the girls, and we plopped down in B&N's comfy kid’s reading area to see what it was all about. It was called "Junie B Jones & the Stupid Smelly Bus". The girls weren't allowed to use the word "stupid" so they immediately began giggling! 😊 I started the first chapter with them, and seriously laughed out loud in the middle of the store with tears rolling down my face! The girls were laughing too. They may have been laughing at me more than at Junie B. We purchased that book and I stalked Barnes and Noble for new releases since 1992 until my collection of this Barbara Park's bestselling series was complete!
Reading these books was very healing for me, and for our young family, but laughter is everywhere that you look… if you're looking! Stop at a local park and watch the children playing - laughter bubbles over in those young, innocent beings, in fact they laugh more than 400 times per day compared to adults who barely average a measly 15 times per day! Watch a funny movie or silly sitcom (mute the commercials). Encourage your animals to do crazy pet tricks! Look at photos of people laughing - like the attached photo of my gorgeous girls before Grace and Graham's wedding! :) Join a Laughter Club - yup, it’s a thing! Just train your brain to laugh easily and laugh a lot.
Apparently the adage, "Laughter is the best medicine" has research to back up the claim. According to some studies, a healthy dose of laughter has resulted in physical benefits, such as:
* Enhanced oxygen intake resulting in better organ function, lung capacity and cardiovascular efficiency
* Elevated physical and emotional relaxation
* Release of endorphins - the body’s happy hormones
* Relief of indigestion and stomach discomfort
* Elimination of pain
* Balanced blood pressure and heart rate
* Brighter, more radiant skin
* Improved mental function, such as alertness, memory, creativity
* Strengthen social bonds and relationships
In a slumpy slump, or feeling overwhelmed?? Count backwards from 10-1, and then LAUGH out loud! We were born with the gift of laughter. It’s an innate therapy. It lifts our spirits and fills us with joy. It’s contagious and unites people. It can help us feel more alive and empowered. It may feel ridiculous at first, but the more you laugh, the easier it will be! Say a prayer of thanks for rebooting your attitude, and allow this pattern interrupt to dramatically increase your vitality, passion and positivity!