06 Jul The HealthStyle File: Laugh Your Way To Health!
Are you happy? Are you surprised that I care? While you may think it an odd question, being happy can be a huge boost to your health. People who are happy have stronger immune systems, lower cholesterol levels and clearer arteries, and that’s just for starters! One study on the benefits of happiness followed people’s lives from birth to death; they found that the happy optimists lived longer (much longer) and had fewer cancers, heart disease, and other life-threatening diseases than the pessimists.
Laughing helps release endorphins, the feel-good chemical that evens out our moods and makes us happy and relaxed. Have you ever had problems trying to lose weight? Would you be surprised to learn that happiness can greatly affect your ability to do so? Studies have shown that women who experience high levels of stress (these are not happy women) have a more difficult time losing weight.
These women also have lower energy levels and are often depressed. The good news is that laughing can help diffuse stress and increase your energy levels, allowing your body to relax and start to lose weight.
HOW……laughing improves health:
- Increases immunity, helping us fight off colds and diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
- Increases endorphin levels, keeping our moods steady. In fact, the endorphins released from one minute of laughing are equal to that released from 10 minutes of strenuous rowing.
- Increases energy. Have you ever had uncontrollable giggles when you were really tired? Laughing is our body’s way to increase your energy level.
- Keeps our arteries clear and cholesterol levels lower.
- Relaxes all of our muscles and decreases muscle tension.
We’re so busy scheduling appointments that we forget to take a moment and just laugh. A good laugh can dramatically change our brain chemistry; our body feels better and our cells function more effectively. Happiness doesn’t usually just happen—we have to work on creating it.