March 19th is National Let’s Laugh Day in the United States, a day to celebrate the healing power of laughter. Laughter can reduce stress, boost the immune system, and improve overall well-being.
Science on the healing power of laughter
Laughter has some quirky effects on the body. For example:
- Laughing increases oxygen flow to the brain. This can improve mental clarity and creativity.
- Laughter can help relieve pain. It does this by releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
- Laughter has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. It can increase blood flow and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Laughing can help improve relationships and social bonding. That’s because it creates positive feelings and can be contagious.
- In some cultures, laughter is considered a form of therapy. It’s used to treat a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Laughter can even help boost the immune system.
- Laughing can increases the production of antibodies and activate immune cells.
A day to celebrate laughing
So, how can you celebrate National Let’s Laugh Day? Here are some ideas:
- Watch a funny movie or TV show with friends or family.
- Attend a comedy show or open mic night.
- Practice laughing yoga or other laughter exercises.
- Spend time with people who make you laugh.
- Share funny stories or jokes with friends and coworkers.
Have you heard of “laughter yoga”?
Laughter yoga is a form of exercise that combines laughter with breathing techniques and gentle physical movements. It was developed in India in the mid-1990s by Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician who wanted to promote the health benefits of laughter.
In laughter yoga, participants engage in a series of laughter exercises. These stimulate laughter and promote feelings of joy and relaxation. These exercises may involve things like clapping, chanting, and playful interactions with other participants.
The goal of laughter yoga is not to tell jokes or be funny, but rather to engage in intentional, prolonged laughter. Laughing for an extended period of time, even if it’s initially forced or fake, helps the body produce genuine laughter, which helps release tension and promote feelings of well-being.
Researchers have found that laughter yoga has a variety of health benefits, including reducing stress, boosting the immune system, improving cardiovascular health, and enhancing mood. It’s also been used as a complementary therapy for a variety of health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Remember, laughter is a powerful tool for improving your physical and mental well-being. So, go ahead and let out a good belly laugh on National Let’s Laugh Day (and every day) to reap the benefits of this simple but effective form of therapy.