According to the doctors and nurses of the American Association For Therapeutic Humour, people often store negative emotions, such as anger, fear, sorrow, instead of expressing them. Laughter helps to release these emotions in a natural and harmless way.
Healers and philosophers have known about the therapeutic value of laughter for ages. It has only been some time since the value of laughter has been scientifically realised. Today laughter clubs, therapeutic associations, and laughter groups have come up everywhere.
The benefits of laughter are many; it
helps the immune system
prevents heart disease.
reduces the incidence of high blood pressure by reducing the release of stress related hormones
reduces depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders. This is because it increases the production of serotonin, a natural antidepressant.
alleviates pain and fosters a sense of well being by releasing endorphins, the body’s pain killer hormones.
gives the internal organs of the body a good workout.
induces a good and sound sleep.
In the moments of laughter, there is a tendency to remain in the present moment. In this way one forgets the worries of the future and the pain of the past.
When people laugh together, it brings them closer and improves relations. It also helps to enhance communication.
Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain. It helps to keep the person alert and also helps to retain more information.
Practical ways to incorporate humour in our daily lives:
Keep smiling. This is the first step towards laughter. It will keep you on a happy note even if your conditions may not be positive.
Count your blessings. This is a precursor to the lightness required to truly laugh wholeheartedly.
Spend time with happy people and those with a sense of humour. Seek the company of people who look at the lighter side of life.
Spend time with children. They are spontaneous and cherubic all the time. They are the true experts in laughter therapy.
Take it easy. Nothing in life is worth getting anxious about.
Learn to laugh at yourself.
Laugh with others but never at others.
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader