We pretty much know how laughing keeps us healthy. But, do we make deliberate efforts to surround ourselves with natural and effortless laughter?
We want to be healthy!
We want to be physically fit!
We know the means!
But what are we doing about them?
As we climb up the ladder of life with the years adding to it, we start to think about the possible areas where we need to work upon. If we are feeling stressed, we start desiring a more relaxed and controlled state of mind. If we are feeling unaccomplished, we crave for more creative challenges. Irrespective of where we are starting from, the biggest challenge in today’s fast pacing life remains is that of TIME!
Similar way, a strong desire to be healthy, that everyone seems to have these days, can bring up thoughts of finding the time for exercise and developing better eating patterns. These very thoughts can increase our perception of feeling “stressed” and increase the resistance towards doing the things we believe we need to do! In the end, it can be like having a tug-of-war with ourselves!
Yet, one easy way to quickly experience feeling healthier is to experience the emotions of happiness and laughter. And the best part is that it comes FREE!! And takes no substantial TIME!!
“How do you do that?”, one may ask, if you don’t feel very happy?
Well, did you ever try this? One way to quickly feel happier, is to place a pencil horizontally in your mouth and bite down on it for 60 seconds.It may seem weird, but after doing this, people reported feeling “happier”. People in formal studies who bit down on a pencil for 60 seconds, also described images they were viewing as “funnier”.
What Is This Magic?
Now ask me, how does this happen? Let me answer! Biting a pencil in this way activates certain muscle groups. These muscle groups are the same ones activated when we spontaneously smile and experience “happiness”. The brain, being an instrument of interpretation, takes the sensation of the muscles contracting and interprets it as “smiling”. This neuromuscular event of “smiling” is then linked to the emotional memory bank of feeling “happy”, and in response, “happy” chemicals are released, we then become aware of the emotion of “happiness”.
As far as our neurobiology is concerned, this is all very straightforward stuff. If our brains were talking to us they would probably say, “Well dah! How else did you think it worked?” We, or most of us anyway, may answer and say, “Actually, I thought I was in charge of my own emotions!” At which our brains may very well fall about laughing! This, however, would not be a bad thing as laughter is another emotion which is very, very good for us and enormously healing.
How It Affects Your Health
One of the ways laughter affects our health is by moving lymph fluid around our bodies. The lymphatic system helps to boost our immune system by moving out waste products from organs and other bodily tissues. Circulation of lymph around our bodies requires movement and a good ol’ tummy laugh is great for doing just that. As we gulp in more air whilst laughing, we also bring in great gulps of oxygen which biologically energises our cells. Did you know that in some countries, people go to oxygen bars and pay to have a few breaths of high concentration oxygen, saying it makes them feel “clearer” and “refreshed”?
To top it off, in every moment we are laughing, we are triggering a cascade of healthy chemicals. These chemicals literally course through our bodies and flood each and every cell. The popular book “Happiness” author Mike C. Adams once quoted that, if we were to buy just one minute worth of “happiness” chemical compounds from a laboratory, it would cost more than $10,000. WHOA!!
Why are they so expensive? Well, these chemicals have a significant effect on counteracting the health consequences of stress and are especially effective in their anti-aging properties!
Free Ways To Be Happy And Laughing
So, rather than spending so much on unnatural happiness or waiting for funny stuff to happen, we can be proactive in seeking out laughter! It doesn’t have to cost much and it doesn’t have to take much time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Watch a funny movie.
- Watch the comedy program that you like (Comedy Nights With Kapil?) or funny videos on YouTube.
- Share as many jokes possible with friends (stop frowning to funny WhatsApp forwards)
- Watch children play or even better play with them
- Just laugh – for no good reason! One of the funniest shows I have ever been to was a man who came on stage and did nothing but start laughing. The whole audience was soon in stitches!
So go on with it! Have fun and be infectious in the nicest of possible ways! The bonus will be, you will feel the surge of health and happiness within you, in no days at all!
Happy and healthy laughing to you!