He who laughs, lasts!
The Many Health Benefits of Laughter
Research has shown us the many health benefits of sustained laughter and new studies are confirming these conclusions every day. Laughing makes you feel good and there are scientific reasons for those feelings of happiness and well-being. Best of all, the brain cannot distinguish the difference between a real laugh and a fake laugh. So simulated laughter bestows the same health benefits.
Oxygen Flow – A laughter yoga session increases oxygen levels in the blood, improving respiratory and cardiovascular systems (circulation) and balancing blood pressure.
Stress Reduction – Stress causes illness. Hypertension, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and anxiety are just a few of the many human diseases attributable to chronic stress. Laughter (and even the anticipation of laughter) relieves stress by reducing the hormones cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline). Laughter is a right-brain activity while worrying is a left-brain activity. It is literally impossible to feel stress while laughing.
Asthma/Bronchitis – Laughter helps to clear phlegm, improving lung capacity and opening bronchial airways.
Immune System – When people laugh, the production of antibodies, natural killer cells, and immune cells increases, helping the body to fight carcinogens, viruses, and infections.
Abdomen – Deep belly laughing helps to strengthen abdominal muscles and burns calories. It is an excellent addition to a nutrition and exercise regimen for weight loss.
Digestive Systems – Laughter massages internal organs (often called jogging), improving digestion and elimination.
Pain Relief – Laughing increases endorphin and serotonin production. These are the body’s natural pain killer and feel-good hormones.
Enhances Brain Function – Laughter activates cortical functioning, improving mental clarity, focus, and concentration. It increases the production of dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, enhancing creativity and self-confidence, while distracting you from negative emotions.
Many people find that gym memberships or yoga or pilates classes are too hard, too boring, too time consuming, or too expensive. Joining a laughter club can be an excellent alternative. If you are handicapped or in a wheel chair, a laughter club session can be a great work-out. Most people experience benefits immediately, feeling more relaxed and happy at the end of the hour. Long term laughter club members report many positive changes in their lives.