Laugh it off!
Instinctively, most of us feel a belly laugh is good for our wellbeing. And increasingly, scientists are backing this up, confirming laughter has many physiological and psychological benefits.
These benefits include:
- Reducing stress hormones
- Lowering blood pressure
- Boosting immune function
- Producing a general sense of wellbeing.
This is good news for Australians, especially as we move into the cooler, darker months which leave many plagued by winter blues and bouts of flu.
When we laugh, our bodies respond by producing an array of natural chemicals, which generate a sense of wellbeing. This is often enough to cheer us up at a time of year when we most need a mood-boost!
And without getting too technical, laughter boosts our immune system, helping us fight winter colds.
But laughter’s benefits may also be experienced year round.
Having a regular laugh can be effective in lowering blood pressure and stress hormone levels, potentially decreasing stress-related illnesses such as heart attacks and anxiety-related disorders, including depression.
So with benefits stacked in favour of those who laugh, try adding some of these activities into your regular routine:
- Get a comedy fix, whether it be a live show, movie or DVD.
- Spend more time with friends who make you laugh.
- Join a laughter therapy group – yes, they do exist!
There are groups all around Australia, so have a look on the Internet. Alternatively, ask your community centre if there is a laughter therapy group you can join locally.
Intrigued? Check out http://www.letslaugh.com.au/ for details.• Keep an eye out for the ridiculous things people do every day; the behaviour of friends and family can be a brilliant source of laughter. A tip, though: keep your chuckles discreet!