Laughter as a Remedy

Laughter as a Remedy

Laugh your way to Health There are many ways to cope with everyday pressures of life. One of the more fun methods is laughing. People have overcome serious illness by laughing at comics and funny movies.

Laughing releases muscular and emotional tension, depression, and negativity. In his book, Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins, not only healed from a serious illness, but confirms that laughter is good medicine. Others picked up on this theme and integrated additional steps to prove laughter to be a way to beat stress.

Psychologist, Dr. Steven Wilson, of Columbus, Ohio joined a group of health professionals and formed the World Laughter Tour. Its purpose is to assist people to improve their physical and mental health through systematic laughter. (Now that sounds serious…. like taking laughter to a whole new level, but wouldn’t it be fun to tell people that you have your Laughter Club meeting today.)

Another fellow, Dr. Lee Berk at the College of Medicine, U of California, Irvine, outlines the benefits of laughter. Your heart rate elevates, blood pressure increases, muscles contract and oxygen levels rise. Also, regular laughter changes the area of the brain that releases stress hormones and equips us to better handle stress.

For most people somewhere between childhood and adulthood they forgot to be joyful. For example, the average child laughs or smiles 400 times a day; the average adult laughs 15 times a day. Thus, in the midst of growing up, we lost something and many aren’t sure how to get it back.

So, if you are ready, here are some suggestions for putting laughter back into your life:

1) Force yourself to laugh. Look into the mirror and vow to make that person laugh. So, for sure, laugh at yourself because you know that you are the funniest person around - especially when you take life too seriously. Also, remember, laughter keeps you humble.

2) Relax. Take deep breaths and affirm, I am calm, relaxed and enjoy life. Within seconds you will feel better.

3) Remember funny moments and stories. Put whatever makes you laugh in your environment as a reminder to laugh. (The painting of dogs playing cards… a possibility. A gag gift?? You get it!

4) Choose to hang out with people who laugh.

5) Make others laugh. Use a prop -- a silly nose or tie. Then when they laugh; you laugh.

6) Learn a new joke and share it.

7) Every situation has a humorous side. Look for it. Stand back and look for the absurd, the ridiculous. Comedians make lots of money doing it.

Notice how people manipulate each other, or rationalize, exaggerate, or get carried away with details and miss the point. In other words, enjoy the show! When you laugh, your body shakes, loosening and soothing nerves and muscles, returning body parts to their natural rhythm and functioning capabilities. You let go of resistance and energy flows. All is takes is laughter.

Jean Walters is a best selling author with multiple books available on  If you are interested in strategizing a new life and working through issues, check out  or call Jean at 314 991 8439

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