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Laughter is strong medicine; it draws people in such a way that it triggers positive physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens the immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and reduces stress. It is probably the fastest and most dependable way to bring your mind and body back into equilibrium.
Humour lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps release anger and forgive easily.
Laughter makes you feel good. The positive feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humour helps keep a positive outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. It not only provides respite from sadness and pain but also gives you the courage and strength to find new meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult times, a laugh can go a long way towards making you feel better. Laughter is contagious- just hearing someone laugh primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun! Laughter is a therapy that aims to get people laughing both individually and, in a group, to help reduce stress, make people happier and more committed and improve interpersonal skills.
Many people have contributed to the history of the therapeutic use of laughter. In 1979, Norman Cousins published a book ˜Anatomy of an Illness in which he describes his encounter with a fatal disease. He was unable to move and was in constant pain. During this period, he discovered the benefits of humour. He found that ten minutes of mirthful laughter gave him two hours of pain-free sleep. His experience gave rise to a lot of research in the field.
Dr William Fry began examining the physiological effects of laughter in the late 1960s and is considered the father of gelotology (the science of laughter).
He proved that mirthful laughter provides good physical exercise and can decrease the chances of respiratory infection. He showed that laughter causes the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers).
Dr Annette Goodheart a psychotherapist and the inventor of laughter therapy believed that different laughs can fight different mental states. However, it is also true that smiling and subsequently laughing boosts immune function irrespective of the genuineness or fakeness.
In March 1995 Dr Madan Kataria, a medical doctor from Mumbai, India discovered that the body cannot differentiate between acted and genuine laughter. He then created a range of laughter exercises including role-play and set up laughter clubs around the world.
Laughter therapy is not just about laughing, it is not solely achieved by watching something funny. It is about creating a safe space for laughing, where therapy can be executed. It may take place in humour rooms in hospitals, groups, or individual sessions with psychologists or in the form of yoga, where you can read a book, watch a show or play with toys. A typical laughter therapy session would have a therapist, guiding the entire session. It is aimed at cultivating childlike playfulness and it is usually done in groups to improve social connect.
Laughing gives a lot of relief to our body and health, if a person is in a rotten mood all day, then it also affects his health.
But if a person keeps smiling always, then his health will always be healthy. I am going to tell you what other benefits our health can have by laughing.
It is important to remember that humour is highly subjective- what makes a person giggle might put another person to sleep. Part of laughter therapy is figuring out what tickles your funny bone so that the healing process is as smooth as possible without any fear. Figuring out what makes you happy and cultivating the ability to find humour and laughter in everyday situations, can relieve the stress and tension that comes along with life challenges.
It does not mean that you ignore the difficult situations but by choosing to laugh you remain in control and are saving your energy to fight. While you may be laughing through anxiety and pain, the actual act of laughing should not hurt. As laughter can cause a little physical strain. Laughter therapy may not be advisable for pregnant women or those who might have recently undergone intensive surgery. If it’s a group process, be careful of anyone with a cold or flu who may laugh their germs to everyone around.
Laughter is more than just a feel-good emotion, and its benefits spread beyond a happy face. It’s for this reason, and scientific backing, that laughter therapy continues to be recognized as a mode of intervention for various health issues. It’s been proven to leave you refreshed, motivated, emotionally secure, and calm even on tough days. So, why not take a laughter therapy session and laugh your way to great health?
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