Sunday, December 13, 2015

Laugh it off!

Most, if not all, of us are already aware of the benefits of laughter.  A recent Huffington Post article reminds us that “laughing does wonders for you.”  “This Is How Laughter Really Affects Your Body” outlines how laughter helps to “brighten your day, calm your mind, and lift your mood.”  The boost to one’s mental and emotional health is evident, but we might not all know about the physical benefits that come with laughter.

The following is a list of some of the positive ways laughing impacts our bodies:

1. “Reduces the effects of stress hormones, lowering your stress and anxiety levels”;
2. “Increases production of antibodies”; “activates protective cells, including T cells and cells that kill tumor cell activity”;
3. In your heart, “reduces inflammation”; “protects against cardiovascular disease, including arrythmias, hypertension, and recurrence of heart attacks”; “lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol”; “lowers systolic blood pressure”;
4. “Relaxes your muscles”; and
5.“Increases your pain tolerance by releasing endorphins.”

In essence, the article jogs our collective memory in that when we are having a rough time and feeling some pain (psychological or physical), we might benefit from laughing it off!  But what about those situations where laughing it off doesn’t seem to work?  You know what to do!  It is time to…blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin