From our new book–
Laughing can be a kind of nutrient in its own right.
Have a five-minute hearty laugh break, taking a longer class or internet session, choosing comedies, or whatever makes you laugh regularly can help you take a deep breath! It can be an important and joyful addition to a healthy lifestyle that helps to prevent and treat lung disorders. You may not feel at all like laughing, but once you get started, even fake laughter can act very quickly to help you feel better. (It’s hard to sustain fake laughing for very long before you are really chuckling and then guffawing at yourself.)
Laughing uses the same muscles as exercise; strengthens your core and lower back muscles. Laughing can get you breathing more deeply, strengthening your respiratory muscles; helping prepare you for the breathing exercises program given in this book, and bring a quick form of stress management into your life.
Laughter lowers your blood pressure; the blood pressure goes up for about 30 seconds, then it becomes lower. Your respiratory and heart rate also are elevated slightly for a short time, then reduced. Laughing increases your protective hormones: serotonin, the hormone of tranquility; endorphins, our natural painkillers; and dopamine, associated with a feeling of bliss. The immune system elements interleukin and NK cell activity have been documented to increase. The hormones associated with stress, adrenaline and cortisol, are lowered after a session of laughing. The blood’s level of the amount of inflammation in your body, C-Reactive Protein, is lowered.
Elevated blood sugar is decreased, and the carbon dioxide levels in your lungs are diminished. Your mood is marked enhanced; both anxiety and depression are diminished. Even a fake smile was found to lower stress hormones. In one study, even fake laughter, performed three times a day for five minutes, lowered cholesterol, blood pressure, and helped relieve anxiety and depression. When you smile, the muscles in your face don’t have to work as hard: it takes 18 muscles to smile and 37 to frown. If you laugh regularly, your risk for heart attacks and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) is forty percent lower! Even anticipating a funny event lowers stress hormones for three days ahead of time.
Try laughter yoga today!!