The magic elixir of ha-ha-ha

Ever hear someone say that laughter is good medicine? Guess what? They’re right. In fact, the effects of a good, old, rip-roaring belly laugh help you heal emotionally and physically; a two-for-one antidote that’s free, rarely has negative side effects and doesn’t require pages of instruction. It’s a powerful tool in helping us get through stressful situations.

So what’s my point? Who doesn’t know that you say?  Well, there are a lot of things we “know” that we put aside and tend to forget. It’s easy to forget to laugh when so many things around us aren’t funny. Look at the headlines, listen to the news; not much to laugh about there. Truth be told, there are many times when laughter is totally inappropriate. With those disclaimers, let’s get back to where this blog started. Laughter is good medicine.

Driving in to the office this morning wasn’t fun. In fact, most mornings it’s not very amusing. It stresses me out. Between trying to be on time, construction delays, people not paying attention to where they are going, or going too slow or weaving in and out of traffic like they’re at the Indy 500, I get a little tense. My hands clench the wheel, my muscles tense and as much as I hate to admit it, I yell at people. What’s wrong with this picture? Stressing out doesn’t get me to work any faster, it doesn’t make construction go away and by the time I walk in the front door at the office, my blood pressure is a tad elevated. Sitting at my desk and reviewing the whole scenario in my mind, made me laugh. That was a good thing. Laughing helped me put things in perspective, took away the drama and changed my outlook for day.

Laughter reduces stress, gives you a new perspective on things and diffuses distressing emotions. It’s hard to feel angry or sad when you laugh. Physically, it helps boost your immune system, lowers blood pressure, stimulates the release of endorphins, releases muscle tension, promotes “internal jogging” with effects similar to exercise and even burns a few calories. One study states that ten to 15 minutes of daily laughing can burn up to forty calories.  Whoa! Sign me up!

You get the point. All I’m saying is to be good to yourself. Laugh a little more and stress a little less. I’ll end with this quote from Woody Allen in hopes that it makes you smile – “I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”, a

Have a fun weekend.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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