Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left and laughing feels better… ~ Veronica Roth

There is no shortage of invitations to feel sadness and negativity in the world these days. When an overall sense of helplessness is in the very air you breathe, what can you do?

When you wake up in a bad mood, are struggling with the overwhelm of daily bad news, or you are struggling with anxiety or are feeling unwell, do you think it’s possible to laugh your way out of it?  The short answer is ‘yes!’ The longer version of the reply is also ‘yes!’ You can shake a bad mood, release anxious feelings and gloomy thoughts, even improve feeling unwell with a good laugh. Letting humour into an otherwise unhappy environment can go a long way to improving whatever has got you feeling defeated, depressed and less like you are doing okay.  

Why laughter matters

Here are a few benefits:

  • While negative thoughts can cause chemical reactions in your body that increase stress and suppress your immunity,  positive thoughts can stimulate the release of neuropeptides that help fight stress and increase immune responses to help fight serious illnesses.   
  • If you have ever laughed until your body hurts, you will be grateful for the experience: Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-infused air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • A deep and full-on laugh exercises and then cools down your stress responses  leaving you feeling more present and relaxed. 
  • Your circulation and muscle relaxation can be drastically improved with laughter  which also helps reduce some of stress’ physical symptoms. 
  • Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also help in breaking up the pain-spasm cycle that is a prevalent symptom in some muscle disorders.
  • Laughter is the great equalizer that reaches out instantly to help you connect with others and make it easier to cope with situations that can cause tension and lack of connection. 
  • Chronic illnesses or life circumstances can result in depression and a sense of defeat.  Laughter can help lighten the burden of  depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.
  • Giving yourself a moment of laughter is good for your lungs and your breath too as well as your muscles.

How to Take the humour road –

Try this simple three-step exercise to help soothe the angst that living these days delivers as a routine menu. Maybe making it a daily focus can help you generate a lighter touch in life that is so difficult to find or appreciate lately?

  • Take note of how you are feeling before you start – physically, mentally and emotionally
  •  Carve out a few moments of your time to search online for something that is humourous to you. It might be an excerpt from a television show, a website that features humour, a joke you can share with others, my personal favourite – silly cat videos, or even a clip of a baby’s infectious giggles and laughter – find whatever will give you a good belly laugh. Let it out – laugh out loud.
  • Take note of how you feel after laughing. Did your emotional state change? How do about your physical and mental awareness?

Give yourself the beautiful gift of laughter. A moment of joy can sow the seeds of your greatest wellbeing –  

Laugh, breathe and be well,

John

 

 

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