The Science Of Laughter: 4 Ways Laughing More Leads To A Better Life
There was a moment in my life when I did the unthinkable.
I was sitting in the front row of my late uncle's funeral service. Somebody was up at the podium, delivering a tear-stained speech, and I was sitting there, listening.
But I was also thinking about a time I had spent with him, a hilarious moment where we had both gotten belly aches from laughing too hard.
So I did the unthinkable, which is one of the most horrific social taboos: I laughed.
A bubbling giggle erupted from within, and I laughed in the middle of a very sad speech.
I clapped my hands over my mouth, and was relieved when I realized only one person had noticed.
This marked the beginning of my never-ending struggle with laughing “too much.”
I can't count the number of times somebody has commented on the fact I laugh too much.
Too much? Is there such a thing as laughing too much?
I made people feel like comedians because I laughed at nearly everything they said. I made people slightly uncomfortable when they noticed me laughing at inappropriate times.
These comments used to make me embarrassed, and I would practice containing my laughter at every opportunity.
As a young woman who has come to learn who she is, what drives her forward and what she wants out of life, I no longer repress my laughter.
I laugh at the best of times and even at the worst of times.
But I refuse to apologize for it. I would much rather spend my days bursting with laughter.
1. Laughter is good for your health.
Patty Wooten, RN, wrote about the many benefits of laughter in her article, “Humor An Antidote For Stress.”
Thanks to a natural decrease in stress hormones and an increase in blood flow, you will simultaneously be protecting your body from heart problems when you laugh.
You will also generally strengthen your body's immune system.
This will decrease your chances of infections and disease, and will keep your vitality strong.
The simple act of laughing releases endorphins into the brain, making you naturally feel good, and who doesn't want to feel good?
People go to great lengths to release these natural feel-good chemicals.
But if you're not the type of person to run for an hour, start laughing more, and you'll begin to notice yourself having a happier, more content disposition in your daily life.
2. Laughter strengthens your relationships.
Don't be the person radiating the negative energy that comes with stress. Instead, start focusing on radiating laughter and positivity, which are the two things that draw people in.
Incorporating more laughter into your life can increase and strengthen the quality of all your relationships, from romantic to professional.
This, in turn, will increase the quality of your time in all aspects of your life.
3. Laughter shifts your perspective.
Being able to laugh about almost anything will ultimately begin to shift your perspective. Noticing things with a lighter view will help to keep you from feeling overwhelmed by the tasks you need to do. It will also stop you from taking minor setbacks so seriously.
Laughter broadens the mind and decreases the narrow-minded views that focus on the negativity of a situation, rather than the silver lining.
Aren't we all a little bit jealous of the people who can just go with the flow? Don't we always wonder how those people can just take a pitfall and turn it into a positive?
Well, it has a lot to do with relaxation.
A good, belly-aching laugh instantly relaxes the whole body and relieves built-up stress and tension.
Having a relaxed body, mind and outlook will help you take on life with a brighter, more positive and relaxed perspective.
4. Laughter makes you more attractive.
Sociology backs me up on this one.
People who smile and laugh often are more attractive than people who are unhappy or angry. Cut down your mirror time, skip the heavy face of makeup and start showing off your pearly whites.
Humor also has a tendency to ease the tension or awkwardness in a situation. So, if you're on a first date, don't be afraid to crack a joke.
It's all about people being drawn in to those who inspire, motivate and make them laugh.
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