They say laughter is the best medicine. Not sure who “they” are, but I do know why this is true. When you can see things in a humorous way you will be able to lighten up, have fun, release the endolphins* – those crazy fish that swim through your bloodstream and help you deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. Your day will be brighter, and you’ll have a positive impact on those around you.
Researchers have studied the effects that laughter has on the body and have turned up some interesting information on how it affects us. One thing is that laughter helps to increase our blood flow because the blood vessels expand and contract easily thereby sending the appropriate amount of blood to our brains and organs. Those who are under stress, their blood vessels tense up thereby restricting blood flow to the brain which creates costly mistakes and errors.
Researchers have also found that laughter helps to boost our levels of immune cells where stress does just the opposite. We get sicker quicker, come to work sick because of our workload, get others in our office sick because of their low levels of immune cells, and the next thing you know – productivity is in the Kleenex box.
Researchers have also found that laughter helps in the fight against diabetes. Laughter helps in reducing the blood sugar in your body, and I should know because I am a diabetic.
Studies have found that children laugh over 100 times a day but when they matriculate into the workforce that laughter rate drops to about five times a day. Not surprisingly, once we retire our laughter rates increases.
Laughter also helps to boost office morale. So when was the last time people in your office were laughing…and it wasn’t at your expense? Why aren’t we laughing at work when we see that laughter has a lot of health benefits?
For many of us, this busy season can bring stressful situations at home and work. Find the humor in situations, be silly, share a harmless joke. Let the endolphins swim around.
Full disclosure: I know that it is the endorphins, but I prefer thinking of them as endolphins. It makes me smile, and that’s a good thing! Oh, and I know that dolphins are mammals not fish, but they are great swimmers. Besides, it’s my story, and I’m sticking with it!