When is the last time you had a good laugh? I mean, a belly-busting, eye-watering, gaspingfor air kind of laugh. If it’s been awhile, you might be feeling it—physically and mentally. I am not a doctor, I am a Life Coach, but I can still give you a prescription for better health and life… LAUGH!
A study in Psychology Today says that the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day. The average 40 year old, only four times. I realize that seems like an inflated number, but when I get around my great-nieces and nephew, I can’t stop laughing. They are full of life and seem to giggle at just about anything.
As children, we are curious. We believe that anything is possible. We don’t worry and we live light-heartedly. Even my 21-year-old son laughs more than I do. When I hear him laugh, the sound is almost foreign to me. As adults, the stresses of life take a toll and, with that, we laugh less.
We may not see the humor in life anymore, or we just don’t realize the benefits of laughter. My hope is that today, you will start laughing your way to a better you!
So, what are the benefits of laughing? In the book “Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient,” Norman Cousins discusses how laughing cured him of inflammatory arthritis. He claims that watching funny movies brought him two hours of pain-free sleep, as well as a reduction in overall pain and inflammation.
Besides decreasing pain, studies show other physical benefits of laughter. Laugher boosts the immune system, lowers stress hormones, relaxes your muscles and prevents heart disease.
Not ready to start laughing yet? Maybe a review of the mental benefits of laughter will change your mind. Laughter adds joy and zest to life, eases anxiety and tension, relieves stress, improves mood, and strengthens resilience. Socially, laughter attracts others to us, and simply creates better relationships. Laughter also helps reduce conflict.
Are you sold yet that laughter is the best medicine? You might be wondering, how do I laugh more? As your life coach, I am assigning you to this all important task: seek out laughter and humor! Here are 10 ways to find your funny:
• Watch a funny movie or TV show;
• Visit a comedy club or show;
• Read the funny pages;
• Spend time with funny people;
• Share a good joke or funny story;
• Find a funny book;
• Play with a pet;
• Spend time with children;
• Make time for a fun event, like bowling;
• Look in the mirror. (I bet that made you laugh!)
Make me a promise: don’t go a day without laughing! Remember, we are all works in progress, but I believe finding your laughter again is just another step on the way to A Better You!
Melissa Versich lives in Hibbing, MN. She is a certified personal and professional life coach, and holds a masters degree in communication. For information on life, health or career coaching, email firstname.lastname@example.org.