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It has been observed that we are less likely to succumb to feelings of depression and helplessness if we laugh frequently. Laughter can foster a positive and hopeful attitude. Laughter also helps to release those uncomfortable emotions which may be harmful to the body. Results from studies have shown that the ability to appreciate the sense of humour can improve the mood disturbances in response to negative life events. These positive emotions can create neurochemical changes that reduce the side effects of stress and dis-eases.
Many studies have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being. During laughter there is a general increase in activity within the immune system, including an increase in the number of activity level of natural killer cells that attack viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumour cells.
Experts believed that laughter reduces at least four neuroendocrine hormones associated with stress response. These are epinephrine, cortisol and growth hormone. In addition, dopamine levels (as measured by dopac) were also decreased. Dopamine is associated with elevated blood pressure.
Frequent belly laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes resulting in a cleansing effect – this is similar to deep breathing and is especially beneficial for patients who are suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments. Many experts also believed that a belly laugh is equivalent to "an internal jogging." Laughter can provide good cardiac conditioning especially for those who are unable to perform physical exercises.
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With so many health benefits, many of us know that laughter is good for us. Laughter is one of the easiest ways to free yourself from the mind's constant thought process and find inner peace. It will make you more alive and more healthy. So try some laughter techniques, when you wake up in the morning, stretch your body and every muscle. After a few moments, start laughing. At the beginning you may have to force it a little, saying 'Ha, Ha, Ha,' or 'Ho, Ho, Ho' to get the laughter energy moving. Soon, a spontaneous laughter will arise at the sound of your attempts at laughing. Try it for five minutes. Just laugh for no reason at all. Laugh for the sake of laughing. Anyway, the biggest benefit of laughter is that it is free and has no known negative side effects. Happy laughing!!