Laugh Your Way To Good Health
Laughter is the best medicine
Everyone has come across the famous adage ‘laughter is the best medicine’ at some point in time, well we’re here to tell you that it’s absolutely true! Laughter is one of the best tools to keep stress and negative thoughts at bay, thereby improving your holistic wellbeing. In fact, studies have even shown that laughter is an easy aerobic exercise for your arteries. This wonderful expression has extraordinary benefits, both short-term and long-term.
According to Dasharupakam, a treatise on Sanskrit Dramaturgy that was written in the 10th century AD, there are six types of hasa or laughter.
- Smita - smile
- Hasita - laugh
- Vihasita - loud laugh
- Upahasita - continuous laugh
- Apahasita - laugh at an unsuitable place and time
- Atihasita - excess laugh
There is no correct way to laugh, or correct time to laugh, and for some laughter is also a therapeutic tool or defense mechanism to temporarily disconnect from the emotional pain of a moment. Laughter activates the neural pathways and helps your brain control levels of serotonin, reducing the effects of your stress and anxiety. It’s incredible how laughing or even a fake smile when you’re stressed or sad tricks your brain into releasing endorphins which relieves your body from pain and stress.
A laugh a day can chase your blues away. Think of laughter like a shot of alcohol or coffee, it is an immediate mood booster and since it’s natural, there aren’t any negative side effects
Short-Term Benefits of Laughter
When you laugh, your body increases its intake of oxygen and therefore stimulates your organs and muscles through circulation. The release of endorphins combined with the oxygen in your body helps you calm down thereby decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Long-Term Benefits of Laughter
If you add doses of laughter into your daily life, it has a dramatic positive effect over an extended period of time. Laughter teaches you how to connect with people and navigate through social situations which helps you enhance social skills and even improves life satisfaction.
Having a positive mindset is the key to your mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. A happy mind attracts a happy life. The best way to add this happiness into your life is by laughing. The positive emotions created through laughter increases your wellbeing and even strengthens your immune system in the long run. This beautiful expression also causes the body to produce a natural painkiller and hence relieves pain.
Laughter Clubs & Laughter Yoga
You will often see groups of people, especially the older generation, at a park or perhaps even in your society, standing and laughing together at what are considered laughter clubs. There are over 5,000 laughter clubs around the world, and many of them are situated here in India, so join one, just for the fun and therapy of it.
Traditionally termed Hasyayoga, it involves stretching, clapping (which activates your acupuncture points) , chanting "Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha", eye contact and playfulness. After a few intentionally forced laughs few deep breaths in and out, you are ready for your daily dose of unbridled spontaneous laughter.
So remember, the next time you are stressed and down, turn your frown upside down with a hearty laugh, and master the ability to fake it till you make it.