Laughter Health Benefits
By Andrew O'Mann
Laughter can represent recognition of a good joke, the physical reaction of a tickle, the frustration of your favorite team playing badly or nervousness of a first date. Whatever the reason for laughter, many studies support the benefits to both our internal and external body.
Article Source: Ezine Articles
As young children we laughed a lot. Around 300 times a day was the norm. However, as we grow up and experience more pressures in life and become more aware of social, political and environmental attitudes, our laughter rate falls all the way down to a pitiful 15 times a day, if that.
When we laugh our brain releases a chemical called endorphins that improves our overall mood and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Therefore, whilst laughing may be a sign that we are happy it is more accurate to say that laughing makes us happier. The great thing is that our body cannot really distinguish between a fake and real laugh and will release the same positive effects with both. So, even if you feel you have nothing to laugh about - do it anyway.
Laughter provides for a great workout. You can work your abdominal muscles, diaphragm, facial muscles, respiratory system and back. You will know how well you have worked these after a continuous laughing session - we have all felt it. In fact, the workout can be so intense that researchers have implied that 20 seconds of laughter could be as good for the lungs as three minutes on a rowing machine. It is great for your facial muscles and reduces facial tension which reduces the formation of wrinkles, thus, being one solution to anti-aging signs. The release of endorphins is well documented as being a natural painkiller.
Other studies have pointed to an improved immune system in women, the control of headaches, and heart health benefits. In addition, it is likely to help you build relationships and have a more fulfilled career.
Whilst the benefits of laughing and having a good sense of humor are well recognized, it is unfortunate that some people just don't see the funny side and are unable to laugh even 15 times a day. Perhaps the reason is depression, stress or just being too busy to laugh.
Laughter therapy should be built into a day's schedule - just laugh for no reason everyday. Anything that happens before, after and in between can be considered a bonus, but do try to set aside some time to yourself and do something that you enjoy which is likely to spark some laughter.
Andrew O'Mann writes about finance, health and fitness.