by Steve Goodier
I read that a child laughs 400 times a day on the average, while an adult laughs only 15 times each day. Which is puzzling since laughter feels so good and is so good for us!
You may know the benefits of laughter on the mind and spirit, but are you aware of how much a good laugh can help you physically? Norman Cousins used to say that laughter is so beneficial for your body that it is like “inner jogging.”
Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, March 1993) reports that laughter aids breathing by disrupting your normal respiration pattern and increasing your breathing rate. It can even help clear mucus from your lungs.
Laughter is also good for your heart. It increases circulation and improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout your body.
A good laugh helps your immune system fight off colds, flu and sinus problems by increasing the concentration of immunoglobulin A in your saliva. And it may help control pain by raising the levels of certain brain chemicals (endorphins).
Furthermore, it is a natural stress reliever. Have you ever laughed so hard that you doubled over, fell off your chair, spit out your food or wet your pants? You cannot maintain muscle tension when you are laughing!
The good news is that you are allowed more than 15 laughs a day! Go ahead and double the dose and make it 30 times today. (You may begin to notice immediate improvement in your relationships!) Then double it again! You are bound to feel better, you will cope with problems more effectively and people will enjoy being around you.
Laughter: it’s just good medicine!