Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Power of Laughter

I recently promoted a simple breathing technique as a free tool that anyone can use to alleviate a wide range of physical and emotional problems.  Here's another freebie for your wellness and life enrichment toolbox: laughter.

Before you laugh it off as too easy to help with your problems, consider the source of true laughter.  It comes from joy, bliss, happiness, or love.  So this is not the point-and-laugh kind of laughter.  Schadenfreude is only temporarily uplifting at best.  I'm talking about the kind of laughter that wells up in you like bubbles of overflowing joy and just has to burst out.  It lightens your heart and unburdens your soul.  If love and joy are among the highest vibrations of the human experience, as many metaphysical teachings suggest, then laughter is your inborn ability to raise your own vibration. Love and inner peace go hand in hand.  I truly doubt that peace can be sustained in a heart that isn't filled with love, joy, or forgiveness.

Laughter does more than improving your spiritual self, though.  There is are mental, psychological, and even physical benefit that you can take advantage of as well.  Laughter relieves stress, which in turn, can help alleviate pain and improve organ function for those who experience stomach, intestinal, heart, or lung problems associated with stress hormones.  Stress relief is a major factor in successful weight loss.   Laughter helps relieve depression.  It actively works the diaphragm, which can help improve lung function, and powerfully exercises the abdominal muscles which are instrumental in maintaining correct posture and keeping your spine aligned.  When groups of people share laughter, it strengthens the bond between them.  Laughter is healthy and essential for maintaining and healing family, romantic, and friend relationships.

So, just in case your body, mind, spirit diet is short on laughter today, here's a little exercise you can try.  Laugh, out loud, for 1 minute.  You don't need a reason.  Set a timer and just belly laugh.  Yes, it will be forced at first, and forced laughter isn't going to have the same level of benefit, but it's better than nothing, and after 10-20 seconds you'll feel so silly it will turn into real laughter  That's a good thing!  Once it becomes real it just flows.  You'll feel lighter, more peaceful. You may feel improved circulation.  You've given your abs a quick work out, and you may even feel more inspired as you go into the rest of your day.  What could be better than that?