Good news — laughter is salubrious! So those slapstick movies I love to rewatch are actually good for my health, as is chuckling with a friend. Research from different sources gathered by Laurie Pawlik Kienlen points out the health benefits of laughter. Some are: “burns calories, causes ‘runner’s high,’ eliminates ‘us versus them’ thinking and strengthens your immune system.”
“The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar,” says Steve Wilson, Ohio-based psychologist and laugh therapist. “Adding laughter to familiar movements, such as waving your arms, activates just about every human physiologic system, similar to conventional or traditional exercise.”
Laura McMullen in U.S. News cautions us not to inhibit our laughter, citing this old-fashioned statement, “Haters gonna hate. Laugh off criticisms.” She serves up ten suggestions to help us achieve our laughter zen. First, of course, is to laugh with rather than at others. Another good one is to seek out others whom you can lighten up and smile with.
“Every day, make a conscious effort to seek humor,” advises Karyn Buxman, motivational speaker and author of “What’s So Funny AboutHeart Disease?” Works for me — I have a friend who is a cancer survivor who reads the comics daily and is beautiful and healthy. She is also delightful to be around because of her ability to make me laugh and take life lightly.
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