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Laugh

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Last week we were looking at smiling more and the boost this can have to our mood and the other people around us, plus how this can also help our confidence grow. 

Today we are looking at laughter which is actually amazing, it’s such a strong positive emotion and on some levels can be seen as something that has medicinal properties. It can really help us connect with people in ways that can trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or is more dependable in bringing your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humour lightens your burdens, inspires hope, keeps you grounded, focused, alert and also helps you release anger so, in turn, finding forgiveness more easily. With all those powerful properties I guess you’re wondering why haven’t you not been laughing more? Well, sometimes life can knock the laughter out of us and leave us serious and often more anxious without it. 

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is an amazing support for helping us deal with problems in our lives, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use, its constantly on tap and with the right attitude and techniques, you can start to access it more easily. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as we grow up and move into adult life, we tend to be more serious and laugh a lot less. But by seeking out more opportunities for humour and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness and even add years to your life. This can really help with anxiety too, as the health benefits of laughter is that it can relax the whole body, just one good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. 

Now I always knew laughing was great but researching this blog shocked me into just how good it is for us. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. As well as this laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals and these endorphins give us that overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter also protects the heart, by improving the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. 

Laughter is the gift which just keeps giving…. I am thinking of giving up my job and become a stand-up comic!!? Because laughter also burns calories! Before you think about it you can’t use it instead of going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories, which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year which is a great bonus. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh and if things are hard or difficult then in certain situations laughter can lighten angers heavy load on us and the other person too. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment. Because there are many things in life we can’t change or alter and finding solutions to help us accept and move on is the key to better mental, emotional and physical health. 

Laughter may even help you to live longer, one study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer and there are lots of positive facts and life-changing stories about people who have laughed themselves better. Don’t get me wrong if we get run over by a bus, I don’t think we can give up A and E and just lay on the road laughing. But as we work through our recovery from anything in life, laughing has to be a key factor, I often with my clients use humour and have intuitively taken this way of approaching things for many years in my practice.  Now even I have learnt why I love to laugh lots; I always knew it made to feel good and doing things which make me feel good have always been at the top of my list. I exercise for the feel-good factor, eat health food to feel good and like to not take life to serious with laughter and humour.  But I am going to commit to a big laugh every day as feeling the benefits are fantastic for me and my loved ones.   

In building confidence, it is essential to not take ourselves to seriously and be able to laugh off our mistakes. This will help us feel more secure inside and the fear making mistakes will lessen too, thus enhancing our ability to feel safe and secure inside. Of course, laughter isn’t appropriate for certain situations, we can’t laugh of other people’s problems, they have to choose to laugh them off and we can join in though.  But we can help ourselves see the funny side of things and embrace our whole life with laughter, as laughter is such a positive emotion. If you have made a mistake at work, instead of letting it eat you up maybe on the way home you can find a way to see the funny side of it. Most of the things that can impact our lives negatively aren’t life or death situations and these are the ones when humour and laughter can be invaluable to enhancing our lives. 

If it’s been a full-on week and not much humour, you could find something funny to watch on tv, or find some jokes online and share them with your loved ones. You could challenge each other to find the best and the worst jokes out there, and once a week have a laughter night.  The list is endless with laughter but try and make it like air in your life, something so essential to your health and wellbeing that you can’t or don’t want to live without. 
Thanks for dropping by Sara x 

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