LAUGHTER———–YUP—put some laughter on!

Do you know that a young child can laugh over 300 times a day whereas an adult will “chuckle” ONLY a fraction of this amount — often much less, if at all. Oh dear—-and that is no friggin joke.

When life is taken too seriously, we are missing out on one of the greatest health boosting habits around. Feel good endorphins, pain management, lower blood pressure, protection from illness, a sharper mind — are just a few perks a little levity can supply. Laughter makes people smarter, more productive, and some would say, way more sexier! Ooooooo goodie!

Yup—and it’s just what the doctor ordered! As it turns out, a good sense of humor is essential for thriving health. Not only is it pleasurable; laughter stimulates the heart and lungs, relieves stress and strengthens the immune system. It even enhances the intake of oxygen, stimulates circulation and relaxes the muscles — benefiting major organs and triggering the release of endorphins. This, in turn, leads to more happy states of enjoyment. Having a lively laugh (that’s me for sure! ) also relieves discomfort by prompting the body to produce natural painkillers and interrupts the pain-spasm cycle of muscle disorders as well. On top of that, laughter lowers blood sugar levels — promising news for diabetics. Time to put those cookies down and get your laugh on!

Laughter sharpens the mind too. Ron Berk, PhD of Johns Hopkins Medical School began using humor to alleviate his students’ lecture induced lethargy. He quickly realized that not only did his students stay awake, but there was also a noticeable spike in test scores. To support his theory, Berk and a colleague divided the class into two groups. Everyone took the same exam, but only one group received instructions that were funny. The students who were given a measure of amusement scored considerably higher on the test.

Research has shown that laughter, like love and contentment, broadens thinking, really allows us to adapt to those ever changing circumstances and spurs creativity. Scientists believe this is caused by the way humor activates the reward center of the brain. In a Stanford University study, participants were placed in MRI machines and shown Bizarro cartoons. When the jokes were found to be funny, a central area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens (the whaaaat???) became active. This is the VERY same reward circuit that pumps out dopamine when we have sex or consume chocolate. Ohhhh YUMMMM. Now-that is worth paying attention to! Dopamine is that neurotransmitter that stimulates the frontal lobe which is where creative thought takes place. Soooo—enjoying that good laugh helps us to think out of the box and with way more efficiency. Pretty good deal huh????

HOW to spark a little laughter??
Do you need a wee bit of inspiration to bring a bit of laughter into your life?

Here are just a few ideas to get you giggling………………

– Go to the card store and read all the funny cards—SERIOUSLY—especially the ones that make sounds. (Have you seen me there????)

– Tickle or be tickled–oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

– Keep humor close at hand with pics or silly movies that make you chuckle.

–Go to You Tube—and watch some silly videos—especially ones of little kids—you will crack up!

– Make it a habit of spending time with lighthearted and amusing friends and family.

– See the humor in everyday life, human foibles and all…it is ALWAYS waiting to be noticed.

– Spend time with a young child — laughter is seriously contagious.

– Go to the zoo

– Go to the toy store ( yes the toy store 🙂 )

Holy moly–with all the stress and doom and gloom these days, it is SO friggin important to offset the negativity with a silly giggle here and there. A good dose of comic relief and camaraderie will lighten your life, improve your mind and relaxxxxxxxxx the body.

It’s really going to even make you more healthy to boot. Yup—for sure.

Come on now—-go ahead—-get on that computer and check out You Tube—- it is chock full of hysterical stuff!

Okeedokie–gotta go put my laugh on!

Gail 🙂