smile is my style
Laughing is as old as mankind itself. It is estimated that the first primitive forms of laughing date back as far as 6.5 million years.
Health benefits of laughing
Laughing is the best medicine, as the saying goes — but although that has been common knowledge for centuries, it has only been some 55 years since laughter research, gelotology, has started to prove why that is the case.
The case of the American journalist Norman Cousins, who suffered from a very painful spinal disease and was told to expect no more medical assistance, is considered the beginning of the scientific study of laughter.
With the help of his own therapy programme, consisting of watching funny movies on a daily basis, Cousins succeeded in making his pain more bearable. Encouraged by what he had achieved, he systematically tried to improve his quality of life by laughing a lot and having a positive outlook on life.
In his book “Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient”, Cousins describes his encouraging healing process. Today, numerous medical and psychological institutes all around the world research laughter.
Laughing relieves stress and tension
Stress and anxiety are the most frequent causes of numerous diseases. Laughter is the greatest enemy of stress, as during laughter the body stops producing adrenaline, which is responsible for stress, and produces endorphines, so-called happiness hormones, instead. When we laugh, we use approximately 80 muscles. This is why we often feel pleasantly exhausted and relaxed after a fit of laughter.
Laughing boosts the immune system
The US immunologist Lee S. Berk discovered that people who laugh a lot have a significantly stronger immune system because their body produces more “natural killer cells” and immunoglobulin A antibodies that defend it against viruses, bacteria and degenerate cells. Blood analyses show higher levels of these antibodies for a number of days after laughing, compared to people who haven’t laughed in the last few days.
Laughing alleviates pain
Gelotology studies have shown that people suffering from pain who laugh for just a few minutes experience relief that can last for several hours.
Laughing aids digestion and stimulates the circulation
Intensive laughter breathing massages and stimulates the digestive organs and increases pulmonary capacity. Blood pressure and heart rate increase for a short time before permanently decreasing after laughing.
Laughing changes your thoughts
Laughing doesn’t only loosen your muscles, but also your thought patterns. Nobody can laugh off the ability to grieve or be serious — but laughing helps you get some distance from burdensome situations and more easily identify new perspectives and solutions. Laughing opens a gate to the world of all feelings.
Laughing changes your mindset and relationships
People who laugh a lot have a different approach to life and the world than pessimistic, sad people. Those who laugh often are better at dealing with their own feelings and needs — this gives rise to serenity, courage and more confidence when dealing with other people.
Children laugh approximately 300 to 400 times a day and they laugh about all kinds of things. However, adults laugh much less frequently — an average of only 15 times a day. Why?
Adults are serious; they are under tremendous pressure, caused by a fear of making mistakes or appearing ridiculous. Regular and frequent laughing can diminish these fears and enable adults to rediscover a spontaneous, playful and child-like way of living. It also confers a peaceful state of mind, enables adults to find creative solutions in difficult situations and stimulates a sense of humour.
Who can benefit from intensive laughter and how does it work?
Everyone benefits from laughing. If you want to do something for your personal well-being and if you are able to go for a 20-minute walk, you can laugh intensively.
Even people who are bedridden, who are in a wheelchair, who are inactive or who have physical disabilities can benefit from the healthy effects of laughing and breathing.
If you are not sure, read here informations about contraindications.
Laughing is jogging on the spot. Ten minutes of laughing are just as beneficial as going for a one-hour jog. Laughter researchers discovered that one minute of laughing is as refreshing as 45 minutes of relaxation training.
A fitlachmit laughter class starts by reviving and activating the body. This is followed by different laughter exercises that can lead to “free” laughing. According to the group’s wishes, the laughter class can end with free laughing, dancing or silent meditation.