Saturday, September 5, 2009

Health Benefits of Laughter

A continuously expanding body of medical research now confirms that laughter is a powerful medicine in alleviating the impact that stressful events have on our lives and in actually preventing accidents and reversing disease.Laughter is a happy and pleasant experience.It temporarily diverts our attention and dissipates feelings of fear, isolation, anger, and physical pain. Laughter can be the doorway to purging harmful emotions and resolving mental tension.It is a form of therapy that encourages us to release the painful emotions of anger, fear, and boredom.Laughter enables the processing of information in a new way.New perceptions can lead to different and healthier solutions.William Fry, M.D., psychiatrist and professor emeritus at Stanford University, documented physiological changes from laughter similar to intense aerobic exercise. He stated that..."One hundred laughs is equal to ten minutes of aerobic exercise."Laughter can also help the immune system. Research at theDepartment of Clinical Immunology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine has demonstrated that the experience of laughter lowers the level of certain stress hormones and stimulates the immune systems by increasing the number of activated T cells and activated T helper cells.In addition, mirthful laughter enhances the activity of natural killer cells that play a crucial role in preventing disease.
To create more smiles and laughter, try any or all ofthese humor strategies:
1) Cultivate a playful attitude.
2) Find humor in daily life.
3) Learn to belly laugh and tell jokes.
4) Learn to laugh at yourself.
5) Hang out with people who are fun to be with, who make you laugh.

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