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Laughter is the Best Medicine

By Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW
 
(Page 2 of 3)

Laughing burns calories – laughter is sometimes referred to as “inner jogging”. A hearty laugh gives the muscles of the face, chest, shoulders, stomach and diaphragm a good workout.
 
Laughter also helps to create a positive mood. It allows the expression of happiness and the release of anxiety. Humor eases tension and is a great antidote to a stressful situation. Laughter is often seen as a temporary vacation from everyday problems, bringing us to a paradise in which worries do not exist. Humor and laughter are natural safety valves that shut off certain hormones that are released during stressful situations. In fact, your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.
 
Here are some ways to bring more humor and laughter into your life:
 
Smile: Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling!
 
Count your blessings: Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter!
 
When you hear laughter, move toward it: People are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feel the humor in it. When individuals hear laughter, they seek it out and ask “What’s funny?”
 
Spend time with fun, playful people: These are people who laugh easily, both at themselves and at life’s absurdities and who routinely find humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious!!
 
Bring humor into conversations: Ask people: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life? 
 
Laugh at yourself: Share your embarrassing moments.
 
Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them: Look for the humor in a bad situation, the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
 
Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up: Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family having fun.
 
Keep things in perspective: Many things are beyond our control, so make the best of a situation and find the positive in the situation.

 

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