Smorgasbord Health Column – Laughter is the Best Medicine – The health benefits by Sally Cronin

Since the blog began there have have been funnies and videos featured every week and I know from your comments that most are enjoyed and that you leave with a smile on your face.

Therapeutically laughter brings with it many health benefits and today I am sharing those along with some laughter moments to start your week off on a lighter note.

Laughter really is the best medicine…

It is very important that as well as feeding the brain nutrients and supplying healthy fats, oxygen and fluids, you provide it with stimulation.

One of the causes of dementia is lack of stimulation. Visual, aural, verbal. For elderly people the world begins to shrink back until they are restricted in movement within a small space, with perhaps just the television or radio for company. Even with the television you will find that eventually there will only be one or two channels watched; the news, soap operas and more than likely Midsummer murders!

This is why any social interaction is so important as we get older. For most, not all, our natural instinct is to recede to a safe zone but those who do stay in the world and continue to laugh, enjoy new music, movies, plays and group activities, stay mentally and physically healthier.

Laughter is universal – every culture will have its particular funny bone that others would not see the point of, but put most of us in a room with other nationalities and eventually someone will start us off. It might be a stand-up comedian in front of a packed theatre – or it might be round the dinner table after a couple of glasses of good wine.

Children have a natural ability to laugh from a very early age – they are not afraid to express themselves – they do not have years of conditioning about what is appropriate or not. I remember getting a fit of the giggles at my mother’s funeral – imagining her reactions to the proceedings. I only managed to hang onto my decorum by severely grasping my husband’s left thigh in a death grip which to onlookers might have looked equally inappropriate!

It is very difficult to keep a straight face when someone else is hysterical and I dare you not to start laughing when you watch this baby giggling so naturally.

There are actually laughter clubs around the world where people gather and start a voluntary laughter cycle rather than a spontaneous one. No humour or jokes involved, just a steady Ha,ha,ha. Hasyayoga is performed in groups with eye contact and you will be surprised how soon the deliberate laughter turns into the infectious kind we are used to in a crowd. The belief is that forced laughter holds the same benefits as the naturally occurring variety and a brief look at those before some links to the most viewed funnies here on the blog in recent years.

I hope that the last thing I do on earth is to go laughing at one of my husband’s jokes – well some of them anyway!

Health benefits of laughter.

  • When we laugh we tend to increase our rate of breathing inhaling more oxygen which gets pumped into our bodies filling us with energy and at the same time reducing stress.
  • As we laugh heartily, nearly all of the 400 muscles in the body will come into play, which is a form of internal aerobics.
  • If you laugh throughout an hour-long comedy show, or at someone’s jokes, you will use up 500 calories.
  • The act of laughing causes our blood vessels to dilate reducing blood pressure and stimulates the production of more T-cells in our immune system helping us to fight infections.
  • The act of laughing releases endorphins and neuropeptides into the bloodstream which have a number of measurable effects on us. These either act as painkillers or improve your mood.
  • The types of problems that seem to respond well to laughter therapy are stress, asthma, arthritis, insomnia, depression, frequent infections and recovery from cancer.
  • Laughing with others strengthens social bonds, attracts people with similar senses of humour, helps relieve tensions in relationships and illustrates a level of trust where you are willing to share something trivial or amusing with another. Laughter is as contagious as a cold or flu and there is actually something very satisfying about reducing someone to tears with laughter.

So it strengthens your immune system, increases your cardiovascular flexibility, makes you think clearly, improves your mood, releases stress, relieves pain, lowers your blood pressure, boosts the entire body and if it is shared with a friend doubles the effects.

There is no doubt that attitude does make a huge difference when you are battling a serious illness and laughter plays a major part in turning infusing the body with a positive energetic and healing environment.

Here are a handful of the feel good laughter moments from the last nine years – funny how so many of them are our pets furred and feathered!

Now something to ponder  some interesting Anagrams

Dormitory – Dirty Room

Desperation – A Rope Ends It

The Morse Code – Here Come Dots

Slot Machines – Cash Lost in ’em

Animosity – Is No Amity

Snooze Alarms – Alas! No More Z’s

Alec Guinness – Genuine Class

Semolina – Is No Meal

The Public Art Galleries – Large Picture Halls, I Bet

A Decimal Point – I’m a Dot in Place

The Earthquakes – That Queer Shake

Eleven plus two – Twelve plus one

Contradiction – Accord not in it

And a real corker:(From Hamlet by Shakespeare)

To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Becomes:

In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.

And the grand finale:

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” — Neil A. Armstrong

becomes:

A thin man ran; makes a large stride; left planet, pins flag on moon! On to Mars!

Something to make you smile every weekday from the comedy team who join me with their funnies… Debby Gies, Daniel Kemp and Malcolm Allen…keep smiling.

39 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Laughter is the Best Medicine – The health benefits by Sally Cronin

  1. I know from my own experiences that my mood improves when I’m laughing, especially when sharing a laugh with a friend. I think the best humor is often found in the absurdities of human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That laughing baby will have a few more outings today – absolutely wonderful! The guilty dog clip is very funny and I’m truly amazed by those anagrams. Many thanks xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Monday giggle thank you.
    I do always read the posts … mostly but can only comment on my laptop as I have to go and look up my password on my phone.
    i especially love the music on a Tuesday.
    So even if I don’t get to comment , I am there.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laughter is very important, and in my case watching speeches of politicans sometimes is the best. LoL The laughing of toddlers is fantastic, but its very difficult to stop them doing so. 😉 Thank you for the Anagrams, Sally! Have a beautiful week! Michael 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sally, this is a wonderful post! That laughing baby really got me going. I remember when my Grandson was a baby, my daughter said, “Mom, his laughter is like a drug!” It seems laughter IS like a drug, a drug for our benefit, no prescription required!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laughing babies are the best, and those anagrams are terrific, Sally. I watch a lot of Scandinavian Noir series on television, and Netflix, but I usually end the evening with an episode, or two, of The Big Bang Theory, which makes me laugh out loud. I don’t know what I’ll watch next when it finishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fab article Sal. You hit all the nails on the head. Laughter is so therapeutic. I’ve always been a laugher and my husband always made me laugh. I always told him I married him because he made me laugh. All my life I’d always been the one to make others laugh and I finally met my match. My lifestyle is pretty unhealthy in these times with a barely appetite and sorely lacking in laughter. I look forward to laughing again. ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A really fun post, Sally. Finally, something good for our health besides sit-ups and kale. Lol. My husband watched the clips with me and we were hysterical with laughter. He said, “All we need is a baby and dogs to live a healthy life.”

    Liked by 1 person

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