A merry heart does good, like medicine

What happens physiologically when you have a good laugh? There is a release of endorphin, a brain chemical which causes you to relax. At the same time there is a release of norepinephrine, a brain chemical which causes you to be alert. If you can laugh in the face of stress, you will boost your ability to respond to stress in a healthy manner.

Laughter is like interval jogging on the inside. It creates a wave of stress recovery, both mentally and emotionally. Laughter stimulates diaphragmatic breathing, bringing more oxygen into the body, while stimulating the nervous system and at the same time relaxing muscle tension. You will end up calm and relaxed, yet energized and in a more creative, productive mental state. Humor has nothing to do with your ability to tell jokes. The characteristic of a person with a good sense of humor is her willingness to laugh at herself. The shortest distance between you and others is a good laugh.

Decorate your home and office for humor. Place interesting conversation pieces on your tables or funny posters and cartoons on your walls to make your space feel more relaxed and enjoyable. Also be more responsive to others’ attempts to be humorous. Look for funny things everywhere.   

Have you ever been in a stressful situation, where there was a great deal of tension and negative feelings in the room, when someone unexpectedly said something funny, causing everyone to break out laughing? The tension is diffused, people calm down, and lighten up. Laughter in that setting becomes an emotional embrace. Nurture your soul with laughter!