Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Laughter and relaxing

Laughter is something easy that we could do for ourselves everyday. It is a way to help us relax and to take a load off when it comes to stress. Susan Stewart is co-founder and partner of It's My Nature, a home based business in Florence, Oregon that provides aromatherapy and herbal comforts ( "Laughing releases the tension of pent-up feelings and can help us keep things in perspective. Laughter is one for the body's safety valves, a counter balance to tension. When we release that tension, the elevated levels of the body's stress hormones drop back to normal, thereby allowing our immune systems to work more effectively," Stewart said.
Laughing is a good pick-me-up that provides both short term and long term effects as well.
(The following is reported by the MayoClinic)

Short Term Effects:
  • Stimulate your organs. (Enhances your intake of oxygen rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain).
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. (A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling).
  • Soothe tension and stomachaches. (Laughter can also ease digestion and stimulate circulation, which helps reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress).
Long Term Effects:
  • Improve your immune system. (Negative thoughts manifist into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and ecreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses).
  • Relieve pain. (Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkiller).
  • Increase personal satisfaction. (Laughter can also make difficult situations a little bit easier).

So are you feeling a little stressed out? Try a good laugh. Its the cheapest kind of medicine.