by Iqbal Ahmad
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Does a joke a day actually help keep doctors away when there are so many more issues today that make our lives more hectic, and so little respite from the constantly mounting pressures? Pressures such as the tough competition to stay ahead of everybody, finding a way to plan and save for the future, raising children, etc.? We know that the quest for better lives has also led to rising stress-related health issues, such as depression, high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. So the answer to if laughter keeps doctors away is ‘yes’. Humor makes us laugh, smile and feel better, because as most of us have heard, ‘laughter is the best medicine’.
And it’s true! Just one good joke a day can actually relieve a large amount of stress and restore your hormones to normal levels, despite all the anxiety and pressures of the professional life. Think about it; have you ever been told a joke by a friend, relative or coworker, and found yourself chuckling about it all day, which in turn led to a great, stress-free working experience? You probably also spread the cheer by telling the joke to friends and colleagues, thereby also brightening their day by bringing laughter to their lives. Isn’t this proof enough that humor can do wonderful things? No? Well here’s some more!
Short Term Benefits Of Laughter
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Long Term Benefits Of Laughter
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up though. It’s also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:
- Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
- Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your stress, depression, anxiety and may make you feel happier. It can also improve your self-esteem.
A Wonderful Way To Feel Wonderful
So it turns out that there’s a great deal of truth and wisdom in the the statement that ‘a joke a day keeps the doctor away’. Give it a try! Come on, laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Then pay attention to how you feel. You’ll find that your muscles become less tense, and emotionally you’ll feel less stressed and more relaxed. And the more that you laugh, the easier it becomes and the more wonderful it feels. Luckily, there’s so many sources to get funny stuff from, with the best being the internet.
There are millions of people around the world sharing their humorous side online, which means there’s great compilation of jokes, funny stories, knee-slappingly funny videos, and hilarious memes available to make you giggle. For those who don’t want to take the time to search out humor for themselves, there’s hilarious and interesting websites like The Northern Star to turn to.
But be sensitive to your environment and very aware of what is NOT funny. Some forms of humor may not be appropriate. Use your judgment to discern the good from the bad, and make it a personal policy not to laugh at the expense of others. And it’s important to always keep in mind that the things people say and do to make us laugh are shared in the spirit of humor, and should be taken sportingly, not personally.
Laughter Heals The Soul
So make laughter a part of your everyday life, and everyday laughter will add years to your life. It will also save you a huge amount of personal energy! Proof is that it takes only seven muscles to smile, but requires thirty two to frown. Laugh, smile and feel better, because laughter heals the soul.