Striving for self-improvement, planning carefully to make changes or to hit your goal – that’s all well and good. But let’s not lose sight of the simple things – the easy actions that can make life better – fast. I’m all for the little habits that can shift our energy or our thinking – or help us move away from negativity. One of the best – that probably ought to be on everyone’s to-do list – is laughter.
Daily, relaxed, full belly laughing. In case you didn’t know, laughing not only feels good – it really is good medicine.
10 Reasons Laughter Should be on Your To-do List:
Laughter . . .
1. Makes you happier. Laughter can help lessen depression and anxiety. It can also help with creativity and alertness.
2. Relaxes you – not just mentally, but physically too. A strong hearty laugh relieves stress and physical tension. Laughing can actually leave your muscles more relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
3. Triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the feel-good chemicals that promote an overall sense of well-being. Ever heard of runners high? This is the same stuff.
4. Boosts your immune system and can actually help your body defend itself against respiratory infections and reduce the frequency of colds. Laughter has been found to increase the response of some tumor and disease-killing cells as well.
5. Reduces your level of stress hormones and lowers blood pressure.
6. Is good for your heart. It increases blood flow and oxygenation of the blood.
7. Can relieve pain and make the pain you have more bearable. Laughing may help the body produce its own natural pain suppressors.
8. Has been linked to increased test scores. Your memory and ability to learn may benefit from a good laugh.
9. Helps keep things in perspective. Finding a way to laugh can increase hopefulness and decrease negativity. Laughing helps us let go of the small stuff that might otherwise nag at us. As an added bonus, sharing a good laugh connects us to others and this creates other positive benefits.
and last but not least . . .
10. Laughter is actually a core workout. Hearty laughter can work your diaphragm, stomach, back, leg, facial and respiratory muscles!
I’m curious. If you made it a goal – an item on your to-do list – to laugh more every day, what changes would you make to get yourself laughing?
Break the habits that don’t work, by creating the simple habits that do.