Have you ever considered the actions that have created the greatest long term results in your life? I’m continually amazed by how certain small things, done consistently, can create enormous impact. Sometimes, incorporating a single daily action – one that takes minutes, can lead to a cascading domino effect of positive results.
Even better is the payoff that comes from small, do-able actions that are fun, or feel good to add to your life. These are the teeny, tiny things that easily become automatic habits and that are less likely to fall away when you get stressed or busy. The little effort it takes to add them to your life initially can lead to big benefits.
One of my favorites that can improve almost everything (and yes, that includes your weight) is so delightfully simple you’ll probably roll your eyes. But that’s okay. If you have too much on your plate – in any sense of the world – a dose of this will almost certainly help.
The truth is, laughter may be even better medicine than you think!
The physical, emotional, and weight loss benefits of laughter:
A good laugh can shift your mood. Let’s start with the obvious. Laughter feels good, and laughing, even if you don’t immediately feel like it, can shift you from a negative emotional state (one that can trigger emotional eating) to a pleasant one – fairly quickly.
Laughter triggers more positive thoughts which can lead to feeling more empowered and can break cycles of negativity (and enhance positive thoughts and beliefs). You’re more able to readjust, react positively to the unexpected, and get back on track (instead of heading into a downward spiral), when you are flowing positive thoughts.
Laughter can boost your immune system – increasing your ability to stay healthy, vital, and on track with your plans.
Laughter increases your energy. When you laugh, you actually boost your oxygen intake and release endorphins (your body’s feel-good chemicals). Laughter wakes your body up. By the way, increased endorphin levels are also associated with positivity, optimism, and greater confidence. More oxygen in your blood (and to your brain) leads to better focus, creativity, and productivity. When you have more energy, you are more likely to follow through on your plans, show up for your workouts, and find alternatives to emotional eating or stress eating.
Laughter builds connection with others. Laughter creates positive feelings and breaks down barriers. It lightens stressful situations. Laughter is contagious. You can spread goodwill while taking care of you.
Laughter can make difficult things easier. Have you ever laughed your way through a situation that might otherwise have been painful? Time flies when you are laughing and having fun. This can help with exercise, trying new, uncomfortable things, and tough times.
Laughter has been found to lessen pain. This may also be related to increased endorphin levels. Research has found that laughter can fairly quickly lead to a reduced perception of pain and an increased ability to disregard physical discomfort.
Laughter helps reduce physical stress. Laughing reduces the release of stress hormones which create the fight or flight response and can lead to emotional reactivity and stress eating. It reduces muscle tension and helps you relax.
Laughter has been found to decrease the usual spike in blood sugar after a meal, something particularly important if you are diabetic or have metabolic syndrome.
Still not convinced? Here’s the best bonus ever:
Laughter is a core workout. Okay, not the most intense, but laughing works your core muscles. Choose laughter and you’ll burn more calories and use more muscles than if your usual default at the end of a long day is lounging on the couch.
This can be ridiculously, luxuriously simple. How can you start laughing more? How can you add laughter to your morning, workday, or evening? Who (or what) could bring more laughter into your life?
Take good care,