“What soap is for the body, laughter is to the soul.”
~ Yiddish Proverb
Yesterday’s thread continued…
Without doubt, laughter and humor are interrelated. Humor is like gravity: a powerful force that cannot be observed directly by our five senses but whose efforts are consistent and undeniable. You can’t see, taste, touch, smell or hear the sense of humor, but you can surely feel its effects.
You don’t have to believe in gravity. Just step off a roof and it will go to work. Ditto for humor. Just start laughing and every system in your body shifts toward healthful benefits.
Consider these fascinating facts, compiled by Ball Memorial Hospital in Indiana:
In exercise terms, you get the same benefits from laughing 100 times a day, as you can from 10 minutes of rowing.
- One good belly laugh burns off 3.5 calories.
- Laughter lowers the level of cortisol in the body. Cortisol suppresses the immune system. Lowering these levels enhances the work of the immune system and may prevent disease.
- 15 minutes of laughter equals the physiological benefit of two hours sleep.
The old saying that “laughter is the best medicine,” appears to be true according to Michael Miller, M.D., Director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland (U.S.). “We don’t know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels.”
And it’s not just laughter that benefits us. Research and clinical observations confirm that positive emotions such as determination, joy, love, and creativity:
Release emotional tension.
- Reduce worry and anxiety due to better perspectives.
- Favorably massage facial, thoracic and abdominal muscles.
So why do I prompt your thinking in this area? The ability to laugh – either internally or as a learned behavior – has important wellness implications. We know that exercising, not smoking and eating healthy foods is good for us. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter also belongs in that mix.
Or, you can consider advice from another source…