Laughter is the best medicine

There is an old saying that “laughter is the best medicine,” but it has actually been shown to be true. According to research, laughing causes vasodilation – expanding of arteries and blood vessels – as a result a lowering blood pressure. Participants in the study were shown a funny movie and almost all (19/20) showed significant (around 20%) increases in blood flow – this improvement in blood flow was equal to that of a 15 – 30 minute workout!

Adults should learn a lesson from children, children laugh around 100 times per day – sadly adults are lucky to laugh as many as 5 times per day. While studying under Dr Cliff Oliver – an amazing teacher and human – he set the class a homework task and that was to laugh for 10 minutes before you get out of bed, it sounds crazy I know but try it and so how you go. It is really a bizarre experience – in a good way. Warning: your partner may think you have gone crazy, so maybe just lie in bed and think about things you find funny.

It is not only our blood flow that improves when we laugh, the state of our body changes; our mood lightens, all of our pent up stress, feelings of anger, irritability and aggression begin to subside and disappear – we begin to relax. All of us can take ourselves way too seriously at times – and sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves.

So how can we get more laughter into our lives? – Easy

  • Watch a funny television show or movie – there are tons of great movies and television sitcoms, cartoons and watching Richmond games makes me laugh. (Sorry to the tiger fans…not!)
  • Read or tell a joke – I love a new joke, actually I even like old jokes. Many good and not so good jokes float around email, take time to read them. There are also loads of hilarious videos and photos on internet and sites like you tube and fail blog, etc. If you have any jokes you think are gold, forward them to me…
  • Good old breakfast radio and even afternoon radio – forget about road rage there are lots and lots of funny DJ’s on our airwaves that will put a smile on your face.
  • Go along to a comedy show – we are lucky in Melbourne we have the international comedy festival each year but there are also loads of comedy clubs – get some friends together get out and see a comedian live and in the flesh.

There are loads more ways to get more laughter into your life, without having to resort to pulling practical jokes, making crank phone calls or anything else that may lead to police charges – because that wouldn’t really be funny would it.  Have a laugh it is good for your health. This guy always makes me laugh.

–    Anthony

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