Laughter Therapy: Take The Path to Good Health
Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused!
How can something as simple as laughter improve your overall health? Laughter is a remarkably complex mechanism, and the effects it has are equally complex. Combined with a positive attitude and the practice of visualization, laughter therapy can help people relieve stress, manage pain, overcome illness and live a healthier, more productive life.
What Happens When We Laugh?
Few people think about what happens when they laugh, but laughter actually causes a number of physical and chemical changes in the body. The act of laughing decreases the level of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline while simultaneously increasing levels of endorphins and neurotransmitters. Antibody producing cells increase in number and T-cells, which fight infection, become more effective–boosting your immune response. Some studies even suggest that regular laughter can help you fight off the common cold.
Laughing can even provide you with an aerobic workout without hitting the gym. Something as simple as laughing 100 times provides the same amount of exercise as 15 minutes on a stationary bicycle–and it is a lot more fun too! Laughter works all of your muscles: respiratory, facial, legs, abdomen and back, while increasing blood oxygenation and flow. Best of all, even fake laughter offers the same benefits, so you can “fake it till you make it” and still reap the rewards!
Laughter is the Best Medicine for Many
Laughter in itself offers many benefits for individuals suffering from many conditions. Medical journals cite the use of laughter and humor as helpful and beneficial to patients with chronic conditions, pain, depression and a number of other ailments. Additionally, laughter has the benefit of being contagious and social. People suffering from long term illness are often isolated, spending a great deal of time in treatment; laughter gives them an outlet which is more than just medically therapeutic.
Positive Words Lead to a Positive Attitude
We are so accustomed to speaking negatively that we often don’t realize when we are doing so. Self-deprecating comments meant to redirect compliments; negative self-image and defeatist attitudes carry over from speech into thought and from thought into belief. Conversely, using positive words when speaking about oneself or facing a challenge creates an atmosphere where success is much more likely. Which kind of lifestyle do you want to have?
Success Feeds on a Positive Outlook
Applying the positive effects of laughter in the workplace makes it a more pleasant place to work. Employees are more likely to face challenges with excitement if they feel good about themselves and their colleagues. Teaching your staff to incorporate positive self-talk, laughter and creative visualization isn’t frivolous; it actually increases performance. These valuable lessons learned at work can carry over into employees’ home lives as well.
It doesn’t take long to create the kind of workplace you want for yourself and your employees. A few minutes a day is all you need to incorporate some simple, effective laughter therapy exercises into your routine, which will aid in stress relief and improve employee results in your office and your family relations in your home.