A necessary constituent of the recreated human spirit is a joyful heart. Joy is expressed in many ways, including singing, shouting, dancing, and, of course, laughing. Laughter is a manifestation of joy; an expression of mirth that shows joy, amusement and contentment, and may come out voluntarily or involuntarily. Laughter is an exercise that is vital to your health. The Message translation of Proverbs 17:22 says that, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.” This is corroborated by the popular saying that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter can be therapeutic and has several benefits. The first Sunday of May, every year, is World Laughter Day. As such, we thought it apt to share with you, ten advantages to help you make conscious effort to laugh more.
1. Laughter Relaxes You: Muscles throughout the body relax when you laugh, especially muscles in the face, neck, shoulder and abdomen. This eases tension and makes it easier to breath.
2. Laughter Improves Heart Health: With better breathing comes better blood circulation and increase in the flow of oxygenated blood throughout the body. A research by the University of Maryland Medical Center found that people who laugh often are less likely to develop heart problems.
3. Laughter Makes You More Creative: Some consider laughter to be a ‘creative thinking exercise’ because it creates a positive mood that makes you better at innovative problem solving. Students learn more from teachers who use laughter and humor to illustrate important points.
4. Laughter Preserves Your Youth: Laughing makes you more attractive. You’re less likely to develop worry lines and wrinkles if you laugh more. Another study discovered that laughter causes increase in the body’s production of HGH (an anti-aging hormone) by up to 87%.
5. Laughter Boosts The Immune System: You can save more on medical bills by laughing. When a person laughs, the body produces more immune-boosting hormones and anti-body cells, which help fight off infections effectively. Laughter also helps the body heal faster.
6. Laughter Is An Exercise: Your diaphragm, shoulders and abdomen get a work out when you laugh because of the body movements. Don’t throw away your running shoes though!
7. Laughter Alleviates Stress: The body releases endorphin (a feel-good hormone) and reduces cortisol and epinephrine (stress hormones) when you laugh. Depression, anxiety, anger and sadness all dissolve at an expression of laughter.
8. Laughter Reduces Pain: Endorphin also acts as a pain reliever, so laughing more will increase tolerance for pain and make it easier to cope with the pain while also healing the pain.
9. Laughter Enhances Social Relationships: Laughter promotes the feeling of acceptance, strengthens relationships, enhances teamwork, promotes group bonding and diffuses conflict. Laughter makes you look good and approachable, which helps to attract others to you.
10. Laughter Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: You can avoid or control diabetes with laughter. A 2012 study involving nineteen diabetic patients demonstrated how laughter suppressed blood sugar levels. Imagine how much you gain physically by expressing the true nature of your spirit. Wonderful healing power is unleashed every time you laugh! Let it spring up from inside you and burst forth on the outside. Remember, it’s your responsibility to keep the joy of the Spirit bubbling in your life. Whenever something tries to bother or depress you, don’t submit to it. Rather, consciously subdue it with the joy of the Lord from within your spirit by laughing your way to victory. Laugh more today, and get someone else to do the same by sharing this article; it’ll keep you healthy, and sociable and emotionally sound.