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The Laughter Diet for Better Health

By Winsome Coutts

Sounds like a joke, but laughter is good medicine, in fact laughter is the best medicine, it is claimed. Laughing – we love to do it, but most adults don’t do it nearly enough. Preschool children have been found to laugh around 300 times a day. By the time those preschoolers have grown up, they are only laughing about 15 times a day. And that’s on a good day! But researchers are finding that laughter really does have a positive effect on health. Is it possible that laughing is one of the simplest and most basic ways to improve all round health and to find ourselves generally happier? The answer is yes!

Why is laughter referred to as medicine?

On so many levels, laughing helps our bodies fight disease, pain, stress and depression and it even gives our muscles a good workout. Ever had sore face or abdominal muscles after a good laugh-fest? Laughing even “massages’ the intestines, helping to improve digestion (how’s that for a natural laxative?). It can help lower blood pressure and causes us to take good cleansing breaths. So it’s great for the heart and lungs, too! In studies, laughter proves to elevate pain thresholds, but don’t expect laughter therapy instead of Novocain the next time you head to the dentist.

When we laugh, our bodies inhibit the release of stress hormones, while the levels of endorphins (feel-good hormones) rise. Just the anticipation of a good laugh can do this and even boost our immune system! Laughing will increase the number of antibody producing cells in the body and increase the effectiveness of T cells, boosting immunity to disease.

The act of laughing releases both physical and emotional stress and allows our bodies to release toxins. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? So much the better – it’s very cleansing. Laughter acts as a way to diffuse stress, anger, guilt and other negative emotions, and is more effective than other distractions such as work or exercise (although exercise is plenty good for you). A good hard laugh will help to change perspective on a situation, too. It allows a person to see things as less threatening and more manageable.

Laughter as a “social medicine”

Laughter connects people. Good, non-harmful, non-sarcastic laugher brings people together with a common thread, plus it’s contagious. When one starts laughing and then another and another everyone’s mood is elevated and stress declines. The reason you feel so good after watching a really funny movie or laughing at a really good joke is because you’ve worked your muscles, lowered stress, boosted immunity and connected with other people through laughter. What a great gift!

If you feel like you need more laughter in your life, rent a few funny DVDs and have a movie night with friends, or head for the comedy club. Practice laughing! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it, but there are actually laughter schools out there that teach you how to laugh, and they have a very good time doing it! If you practice laughing, especially with a friend, it will make you laugh anyway. See if you can find some fun ways to get your laughter quota above 15, heck, go for 20 a day! Put your body on a steady diet of laughter - you will find that your body thanks you and so will your mind. Have fun! Take a dose of good laughter medicine today

Learn about Life Happiness from Mike Dooley

"It's through the pursuit of my goals and dreams that I learn my lessons and even greater secrets about life and myself. As far as fun and meaning go in my life today, by most standards I've been doing pretty well..." - Taken from Mike Dooley's bio at www.tut.com

I believe Mike Dooley is a true master when it comes to life and happiness.

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Winsome Coutts is the passion behind the new self help authority site, www.4lifeselfhelp.com. She is a lifelong student of personal development, meditation and goal setting. In the pursuit of her own dreams, she has created www.4lifeselfhelp.com as a tool to help others find success and happiness along with resources to live an abundant life.

Visit www.4lifeselfhelp.com today to take advantage of their resource library, free articles, resource tools and guidance.

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