Whether you are laughing at a comedy act on TV or giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good.
When you start to laugh, it stimulates physical changes in your body.
• Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
• A carefree laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response
• Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
In the long run,
• Laughter can improve your immune system. Positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
• Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers
• Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier. Put humour on your horizon.
• Find a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies, books or comedy albums on hand for when you need an added humour boost. Look online at joke websites. Go to a comedy club.
• Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
• Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. Return the favour by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.
• Browse through your local bookstore or library’s selection of joke books and get a few rib-ticklers in your repertoire that you can share with friends.
However, never laugh at the expense of others.
Go ahead and try it. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you have had your chuckle, take stock of how you are feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That is the natural wonder of laughing at work.
Source: Excerpts from Mayo Clinic