Laugh Your Way To Health   

Laugh Your Way To Health


Research confirms that laughter relieves stress and boosts the immune system. We're not kidding.

How laughter can improve your health: Laugh more, and you'll feel better. 

Stress buster, immune booster

Develop a better sense of humor; you'll reduce the wear and tear caused by stress, anxiety and frustration-while at the same time strengthening your immune system's ability to fend off disease.

According to tests showed that the immune systems of the "laughers" tend to release more disease-fighting "T cells" from the spleen into the bloodstream than do the systems of the "non-laughers."

There's no doubt that mirthful laughter stimulates the quantity of T cells, and also their vitality. 

Health benefits

Because these T cells are major weapons in the body's defense against illness, the "laughter stimulus" they receive may be a crucial factor in staving off the next flu virus that comes your way.

But the mystery of exactly how laughter strengthens the immune system continues to puzzle researchers.

Studies have shown that the "inner jogging" of laughter can boost the average pulse rate from 60 to 120 in a few seconds, while flooding the entire cardiovascular system with vital oxygen.

Some people get so involved they end up kicking their feet in the air.

Another health benefit to be gained from the giggles is that vigorous laughter often activates the body's natural tranquilizers-the brain-centered endorphins, which reduce pain and trigger the euphoria known as "runner's high. 

Reconnect with the child inside

Given all of these marvelous health benefits, you'd think that most of us would be laughing our heads off these days in our continuing quest for wellness. But we aren't, and for good reason: Life today has become so stressful that many people can't seem to manage even a tiny smile, let alone an old-fashioned belly-laugh. 

A lot of people have just plain forgotten how to laugh, that's really a shame. A helpful recommendation: We should "reconnect with the child inside, and learn how to laugh again by enjoying the silliness in life."

To accomplish that, try a few of these tips: 

1.  Draw up what calls a five-day "humor profile" of yourself by making a list of things you laughed at during that period (a funny cartoon, a goofy remark, a TV comic, etc.). Start collecting examples of that kind of humor.

2.  Learn to enjoy the comedy in your own mishaps and boo-boos.

3.  Teach yourself some of Catanzaro's tricks, such as taking a "humor walk" each day (look for the "human comedy" all around you) or keeping a jar full of your favorite jokes on your desk.

4.  When it's appropriate, dare to show others the silliness in yourselfLaugh Your Way To Health