Celebrate National Humor Month with Laughter
April is National Humor Month. What better way to kick it off than with a few harmless practical jokes on April Fool’s Day followed by a month of smiling, laughter, jokes and fun? There is a saying that laughter is the best medicine. Fortunately for all of us, this is not only a true statement, but it is also inexpensive, lots of fun and feels good too.
Though researchers aren’t sure if it’s the actual act of laughter that makes us feel better, chances are that, if you are laughing, you also have a good sense of humor, a positive attitude and support from those around you. All of these set us up for good physical and mental health. The act of laughing can be compared to a mild workout; it requires we stretch muscles in our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure increase, and we breathe faster, which pushes more oxygen throughout our body. It may also help in burning calories.
Medical studies about laughter have been inconclusive because the cause and effect are hard to link, but some researchers say that laughter helps keep our stress levels minimized, which in turn strengthens our immune system. They also note that laughter can ease digestion and stimulate circulation. Studies have shown that laughter helps keep blood sugar levels lowered in those who have diabetes as well. Having a positive outlook on life and minimal levels of stress also have a domino effect in our lives, making it easier to sleep soundly, concentrate better and feel more motivated.
Regardless of the disagreement in the medical community, most researchers can agree on two things that laughter certainly is the best medicine for: relieving pain and increasing personal satisfaction. People who suffer from pain but have a good attitude and laugh frequently often report that these feel-good emotions and actions make their bodies feel better too.
Beyond its medical advantages, laughter generally helps put things in a more positive light. It helps break tension and, because of its addictive nature, aids in bonding people over a shared action. Laughing is often a sign that we are having fun, which results in positive memories that we can revisit when we hit a slump.
What can you do to add more laughter into your life? Here are four suggestions:
Watch a fun sitcom or comedy movie without worrying about anything else.
Surround yourself by children. Kids smile and laugh constantly, so let their good humor and positive attitude rub off on you.
Spend time with friends in a carefree environment. Visit an amusement park, enjoy a relaxed meal together or dress up for a fun event.
Tell a joke. Buy a book of one-liners and make sure you read at least one every day. BONUS: This month at The Specific Chiropractic Center, if you tell your doctor a joke during your office visit, you will be entered in a raffle to win two movie tickets!
So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present for a good, healthy laugh.
Griffin, R. Morgan. Give Your Body a Boost – With Laughter. Women.WebMD.com (April 10, 2008) Retrieved March 11, 2010 from http://women.webmd.com/guide/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter.
Maples, Melissa. The Importance of Laughter. TotallyHer.com. Retrieved March 11, 2010 from http://www.totallyher.com/the-importance-of-laughter/.
Stress relief from laughter? Yes, no joke. MayoClinic.com. (July 23, 2008) Retrieved March 11, 2010 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00034.
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