Laughter

   

On Monday of this week, I posted an article about a new iphone/ipad app called, “The Gift of Laughter" by VisionsMedia.  On that day, I was trying to think about the last time I had a really good laugh.  You know one of those occasions that make your eyes tear and your stomach hurt. I couldn’t remember.  It had definitely been way too long.  

As luck would have it, during the middle of the week I received a Facetime call from my niece.  She had been giggling with excitement before I even answered the call.  As soon as I said “hi” she jumped right in and began to tell me a story in her laughter about her trick-or-treating experience.  She could not believe that while making her rounds with her younger brother and cousin on Halloween night, someone would give them each a can of Pepsi.  “Can you believe it Aunt Cori, a can of Pepsi?”  She laughed and laughed.  She couldn’t get over it.  For some reason, this simple exchange defied all logic and caused her to rollover in laughter still days later.  I loved the innocence of it all.  I had to admit it did seem rather silly and while watching her laugh, I laughed more and more with her.  

I thought about that call later, if only I could stop and laugh more often.  Would laughing at the ridiculousness of life instead of being annoyed at it bring about some relief?

I decided to look into “laughing” and see if there were real benefits to this activity that can bring so much pleasure and fun with it.  I found that researchers agree that laughing has good health benefits.  The most common benefits of laughter noted were the following. 

Lowers blood pressure
Lowers blood sugar
Improves immune system
Increase blood flow
Increases memory
Relieves pain
Social benefits by connecting to other people
Stress reducer

So there does seem to be short-term and long-term benefits of laughter.  An important factor is trying to incorporate laughter into our lives more often.  It is tough to do when we have so much responsibilities going on in our lives including family, work, and the list goes on.   We get caught up in the day to day that we forget or don’t have the time to let some of it go and just laugh.   So I am encouraging you and I to find more ways to laugh more regularly.

Referenced Articles:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress-relief/SR00034
Stress relief from laughter? Yes, no joke. By Mayo Clinic staff

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/science/14laughter.html
Scientists Hint at Why Laughter Feels So Good. By James Gorman
September 13, 2011

http://women.webmd.com/guide/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter
Give Your Body a Boost—With Laughter. By R. Morgan Griffin

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-laughter.html
8 Health Benefits of Laughter posted by Melissa Breyer Aug 23, 2011 4:00 pm

http://articles.cnn.com/2007-06-04/health/pl.laughter_1_laughter-club-la...
The benefits of laughter. June2, 2007 by Brigid Delaney

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/10/prweb8921486.htm
VisionsMedia uses Australian Research Which Finds Laughter May Be Strong Medicine for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients. Rochester NY (PRWEB) October 31, 2011