One of my very favorite things about my husband is how often he makes me laugh. He knows I carry around some heavy stuff, I ruminate, I over-think, I worry. When I laugh with him, it shifts my perspective. I know I can be too serious for my own good so I intentionally seek out laughter–browsing the internet, going to the comedy club, watching a marathon of the Big Bang Theory. Sometimes when I feel the least funny is when I know I need it the most.
The physiological and emotional benefits of laughter are incredible!
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
- Increases immune cells and infection-fighting anti-bodies
- Triggers the release of endorphins
- Increases vascular blood flow
- Increases memory and learning
- Improves alertness, creativity and memory
- Relieves pain
- Elevates mood
- Reduces depression, anxiety and tension
- Increases hope, optimism and energy
- Reduces stress
- Promotes relaxation
- Lowers blood pressure
How long has it been since you’ve experienced a deep, genuine belly laugh? How long since you laughed until you cried? How long since the muscles in your face and abdomen hurt from laughter? For most of us, it’s been too long.
So, today’s challenge…find some humor in your life. Watch your favorite funny movie, hang out with that friend who always has the best stories to tell, watch YouTube clips of your favorite comedian. Feel how your body shifts and changes. Appreciate the fact that this is something you can do for yourself.
I will share a few of my favorite (G-rated) funnies to get the ball rolling…