Laughter the best medicine
A good sense of humour is one of the most important tools in your self-care kit. In fact, studies show that laughter affects both your body and your mind. Laughter is also readily available, free, has no side effects, and you don't have to worry about overdosing. Moreover, it's good for everyone around you too. And laughter can relieve stress, boost your immune system and even change your perspective on things. Stress relief. Laughter lowers your blood pressure and pulse rate and helps your muscles to relax. It counteracts your body's stress response by lowering the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline and dopamine. In addition, it releases "happy chemicals" in your brain, leaving you with a sense of well-being or even euphoria. Increased immunity. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of killer T-cells. This means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects and immune suppression caused by stress. Pain relief. Laughter increases the production of natural painkillers, thereby improving our tolerance to pain. Muscle relaxation. Laughter exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards. It even provides a good workout for the heart. According to the late Dr Laurence Peter, author of The Peter Principle, the bigger the laugh, the lower the tension and the more long-lasting the relief. Perspective. Humour gives us an entirely different perspective on our problems. By viewing a problem a little more light-heartedly, it becomes a challenge instead of a threat, and your body won't react with a stress response. This gives us a sense of mastery and control over our environment, which helps us cope with adversity. Distraction. Laughter diverts our attention away from our negative feelings like guilt, anger, and stress. Improved social interaction. Laughter is contagious. If you laugh, people...
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