Laughter has been shown to be a very effective weight loss tool. You won’t lose tons of weight overnight, but it will help with weight loss and improve other aspects of your overall health.
There is a branch of psychology called ‘laughter therapy.’ Some hospitals have incorporated this therapy for pain relief and depression. You might have seen the movie, Patch Adams. Robin Williams played a real-life physician who was also a clown. Dr. Patch Adams found significant improvement in his patients when laughter therapy was used. Laughtercising is a new exercise craze that gets you laughing when you don’t feel like it. Laughter has been shown to stop cravings – and those between-meal snacks.
Laughter has been used for over a thousand years to improve your health. Proverbs 17:22 states that a cheerful heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick. Martin Luther used humor to counsel people with depression. Immanuel Kant, an 18th-century German philosopher used laughter to restore balance and equilibrium. Clowns were brought into hospitals in the 1930’s to cheer up kids with polio.
A lot of people eat because of stress. Emotionally, you feel relief or happiness from eating. It’s the first level of happiness – physical senses. You eat, you feel better; therefore, your stress seems to be lessened. It takes a little more than a two-second laugh though.
Laugh out loud – a nice hearty laugh for at least 30 seconds or longer. Do this ten or more times a day and you will feel happier and notice that you no longer rely on that extra piece of chocolate cake. You also notice that you have more energy. You develop a better sense of well being.
Most people cannot laugh for 30 seconds ten or more times a day. We could when we were kids, but something in our psyches has changed over the years and we just don’t let go like we used to. We take everything more seriously today. It takes time and you have to work hard at laughing out loud. Extended laughter actually requires a great deal of physical exercise and muscular control.
Think of a belly laugh as internal jogging. It works on the same principles. At least fifteen facial muscles and dozens of other muscles are involved when you laugh. The louder you laugh the more intensity you exercise your muscles. You will notice your pulse and respiration increasing which results in more oxygen entering your bloodstream. Can you imagine that your doctor might prescribe a regimen of laughing out loud for fifteen minutes a day for weight loss – it might be here before you know it?
There are multiples causes for you being overweight. It is rare when one factor alone is responsible. Diets and exercising can be supplemented with a laughing regimen – and it doesn’t really cost you anything but your time – and you feel better for doing it. Laughter is not aerobics. Laughter is mood enhancing and strengthens your emotional base.
Researchers have found that laughter increases blood flow, increases your immunity, decreases stress levels, and calms your nerves, releases endorphins, lowers your blood sugar, increases your energy, increases your feeling of well being, increases your HDL cholesterol, and relaxes you for better sleep. Laughter improves the emotional and physical quality of your life.
Some will tell you that laughter increases your joie de vivre – the joy of living. Laughter actually makes you more attractive. Happy people appeal to others. A very interesting aspect of laughter is that it can reduce pain.