Plan some face time with a friend and share some laughs together, It’s good medicine
To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it. – Charlie Chaplin
Laughter feels good. It can bring light even into the darkest of times. And it is true what they say, it is good medicine. It actually has healing effects on the body and the psyche.
It releases endorphins which are chemicals in your body that help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being. A good hearty laugh reduces your stress hormones and relaxes your muscles for up to 45 minutes.
Humor connects people. It can bring people together. It promotes a sense of safety and intimacy. It breaks down barriers of hierarchy. People of power who exhibit a good sense of humor are generally more respected than those who don’t.
Laughter boosts serotonin – our body’s natural antidepressant. (DUH!) It also decreases inhibitions, anxiety and can bring hope and new perspective into seemingly hopeless circumstances.
- It opens circulation and improves blood flow to the heart.
- It reduces inflammation.
- It raises your natural killer cells which help resist infection and fight cancer.
- It improves brain function and increases neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to rebuild cells and heal itself.
Bringing laughter into your life in stressful times is a great way to reframe stress and change your outlook on things. Laugh at yourself. It can reduce the power of the critic we carry inside of ourselves.
While spontaneous, heartfelt laughter is rich and fulfilling, voluntary laughter can also induce many of the health benefits described above.
During these times, when so many of us are isolated and lonely, take time to laugh and be grateful every day. Read the funnies, watch sit-coms, read a good book, or listen to comedians. There is even Laughter Yoga and other laughter groups on line. Just watching the exercises can bring a smile to your face.
Plan some face time with a friend and share some laughs together. A good dose of Vitamin H (humor) and Vitamin L (laughter) will make you both feel much better.
As Lord Byron put it, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
Dr. Jennifer Means welcomes you for Primary Care for the whole family: Nutrition, IV Therapy, Naturopathy, and Acupuncture. Contact us at 503-641-6400.