The Power of Laughter
Have you heard the one about the average 4-year-old who laughs 300 times per day and the average 40-year-old who laughs only four times a day? Whoa!
While that turns out to be an urban legend, I have no doubt that most children do laugh a whole lot more than most adults do. And that we could all use more laughter in our lives.
For the past couple of years, my husband and I have intentionally sought out opportunities to laugh. Searching for comedies over dramas. Life itself is dramatic enough, thank you very much.
A few weeks ago, I found the game Guesstures at the thrift store and our family has a laugh-a-thon whenever we play it.
In my weekly Nia classes, I often guide us through a Laughing Meditation, which is a progression of laughing for one minute: 15 seconds on our bellies, 15 seconds on our backs, 15 seconds sitting up, and ending with 15 seconds standing.
Laughing lowers stress hormones, releases trapped emotions and endorphins to help relieve pain, improves immunity, creates connection with others, and one minute of it is a much more fun way to do the same "work" as hundreds of crunches in a flash as you dissolve tension and stress.
A recent article in Scientific American says:
"Laughter can increase your oxygen intake, which can, in turn, stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles. Laughing further releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals our bodies produce to make us feel happy and even relieve pain or stress. The act of increasing and then decreasing our heart rate and blood pressure through laughter is also ultimately calming and tension-relieving. Laughter can even boost our immune system response through the release of stress-and illness-reducing neuropeptides."
Yes. There is no doubt about it. Laughter. is. GOOD. medicine.
How will you get your dose today?