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laughter   It is so funny how we take the best things in life for granted, things that can come to us without any form of stress. Laughter is regarded by researcher’s as a medicine for one’s well being, yet we spend so much on prescription (drugs) to ensure we’re healthy and happy. Laughter is an act that comes so easily and cheap. One’s sense of humour is one of the most influential tools to help support your health, mood and daily emotions. As little as a chuckle, can change the state of an unfriendly atmosphere to a more relaxed and welcoming one. In the book of Proverbs 17:22 the BIBLE says a merry heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bone (King James Version). Laughter is so contagious when shared; it creates unity amongst people, boosts happiness and intimacy. It is one priceless act that is strongly affiliated with good health, and one of the best feelings the world has ever known. There is so much to love about laughter that can’t be over emphasised; a powerful antidote to stress, pain, conflict, fortify immune system, boost energy, and stress. Laughter is also known to help trigger healthy physical changes in the body. Nothing works more rapidly to balance the state of your mind like a good laugh. The Benefits of Laughter can be grouped into the following Physical Health Benefits: Boosts immunity, Lowers stress hormones, Decreases pain, Relaxes your muscles, Prevents heart disease, Natural anti-depressant, Cardiovascular conditioning, Lowering of blood pressure. Social Benefits: Strengthens relationships, Attracts others to us, Enhances teamwork, Helps defuse conflict, Promotes bonding(social groups). Mental Health Benefits: Adds joy and passion to life, Eases anxiety and fear, Relieves stress, Improves mood and self being. Additional benefits of laugher include; 1. Boost immune system: Laughter helps to boost your immune system. The respiration rate during laughter increases oxygenated blood that goes to the brain and an increase in memory, causing an immense impact on your learning and analytical abilities. It also helps relax the body, which helps fights some diseases (ulcers and arthritis), as well as increase the immune system. 2. Reduces stress hormone levels: Hormone-level reduction helps severe anxiety and stress. The reduction of stress hormones results in higher immune system performance. 3. Enhance team work: Laughter creates unity amongst people, boosts happiness and intimacy. It enhances teamwork, and helps in forming strong bonds and relationships with others. It is hard for conflict to come between co-workers that laugh at the situations that surround them. The act of laughter amongst workers creates a huge social success, because it eases tension and anxiety. 4. Strengthens relationship: Laughter is highly contagious and helps one to just go with the flow. Laughter helps to strengthen relationships because of the joy it carries along with it, making one to be more open and sociable. Laughter helps to break from any form of social restriction(anxiety and low self esteem) in return it makes them free with one another. 5. Ease anxiety and fear: Laughter encourages positive thinking and kills any form of negative thoughts (Anxiety and fear). With the absence of negative thoughts an increase in one’s well being is certain (self esteem). Once anxiety and fear is reduced, your level of positive thinking increases, which in turn increases creativity. 6. Produces a general sense of well-being: Laughter can increase one’s overall well-being. Research findings show that people with positive attitudes towards life are more likely to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. Be merry and cheerful, laughter is priceless, free and easy to use. So smile, laugh and be happy.

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This article was first published on 13th May 2014

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