Stress and Laughter

Date Posted:15 May 2012 

Recent research has demonstrated what we intuitively know - that laughter is good medicine. Humour and laughter make a positive contribution to your physical and mental health. Learning to adopt a lighter attitude and seeing the funny side of everyday situations gives you the resilience you need to cope on the tough days.

If you manage to bring your sense of humour to your conflicts at work and at home, you will go a long way toward improving the quality of your life, as well as boosting your physical health and well-being.

Laughter dissolves tension, stress, anxiety, irritation, anger, and sadness. Like crying, laughter lowers inhibitions, allowing the release of pent-up emotions. After a hearty bout of laughter, you will experience a sense of well-being. There are a number of specific stress management benefits related to laughter.

Hormones
Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter also increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells (which belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity). All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

Physical release
Have you ever said ‘well, I have to laugh or else I'll cry’? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release from stress.

Internal workout
A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abdominals and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.

Distraction
Laughter diverts attention away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions.

Perspective
Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge.’ Humour can give us a more light-hearted perspective and help us view events as ‘challenges,’ thereby making them less threatening and more positive.

Social benefits
Laughter connects us with others. It is also ‘contagious,’ so if you bring more laughter into your life you will probably be well-placed to help others around you to laugh more. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of interaction you experience with them, further reducing your stress level!

Let's finish with a quip from Voltaire: “The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease.”

Herbals to help

Would increasing bliss and energy be helpful to you?

  • Uplift your emotions naturally with our Blissful Joy compound. Our clients love it!
  • Sadhaka aroma oil is also uplifting to the heart and is great to use when taking Blissful Joy.

Do you worry and become scattered when stressed?

  • Stress Relief is a great tonic for the nervous system that helps to calm worry and builds your capacity to cope with stress. Take 1-2 tablets prior breakfast and dinner.
  • Take 1-2 tablets of Worry Free after breakfast and dinner to increase your mental resources. It even helps with memory and ability to recall too.
  • Vata Aroma oil is very settling and calming.

To reduce tendency for frustration and anger when under pressure:

  • Emotional Balance helps to cool the mind while also nourishing the nervous system. Take prior breakfast and evening meal.
  • Use Aci Balance or Hot Flush Balance if you experience heat flashes when under pressure.
  • Pitta aroma oil or Sadhaka aroma oil are excellent at helping to bring contentment and compassion to the mind when under pressure.