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Laugh to brighten your health and your creativity

Did you laugh your daily dose of laughter today? A big LOL can turn a lousy stressful day into a perfect happy day. If you haven’t laughed by 9:00 am on any given day, then your day is off to a bad start. Everyone is familiar with the old cliché “Laughter is the best medicine.” Real life experiences tell us that this cliché is absolutely correct. According to medical experts, we only need 15 laughs a day to keep the doctor away.

Laughter comes in many forms; it could be a subtle smile to an overflowing laugh. You don’t have the guffaw and meat drop, or laugh until you cry to be laughing enough. A simple smile is a step in the right direction. Humor can be a powerful ally to maintain well-being and prevent slip-ups. Several investigations have shown that laughter releases chemicals in the brain, namely beta-endorphins and enkephalins, which are natural pain relievers. These natural pain relievers are believed to be 100 times more potent than any morphine or opium-based medication normally taken as a pain reliever.

Psychologist Alice M. Isen and her colleagues conducted a study on a group of college students to determine how laughter affects creativity. Given a box of matches, a box of tacks, and a candle, college students were asked how they would attach the candle to a cork board so that when the candle is lit, the wax does not drip onto the cork board. Before attempting to solve the problem, a group of students watched a TV blooper comedy movie that would get laughs. The other group of students watched Area Under a Curve, a math movie. The researchers found that 75% of the students who put themselves in a joyful condition solved the problem correctly, while only 20% of the students who watched the math movie did it correctly. Watch comedy shows like Hannah Montana or JONAS! it can induce a fair amount of giggles to complete your daily dose of laughter.

Additionally, laughter benefits the entire cardiovascular system through dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow throughout the body. When you laugh, you swallow a large amount of air, which creates a rich, highly oxygenated blood flow. When you laugh, your blood pressure and heart rate rise as much as you exercise, but after the laughter subsides, both your blood pressure and heart rate return to lower levels than they started with. As a result, you feel refreshed after a good dose of laughter. It’s interesting that even the Bible agrees on the power of laughter. In Proverbs 17:22 it says that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a sad spirit dries up the bones.”

Love yourself and laugh today!

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