Laughter is medicinal to healthy aging. Interestingly, you don’t buy it, absolutely free and you cannot sale it neither. I did a bit of research on this and I was so amazed with how beneficial a simple laugh is to humanity. I have been implementing it and it works, take note: don’t wait for happiness to laugh but laugh then happiness comes. Laughter is a gift, make it a habit to laugh even when there is nothing funny going on. This will be medicinal to your blood, bones, gut, nerves and soul. This article will highlight how laugh can make an individual age healtheir, by showing the benefits of laughter, what does it take to laugh and how to use laughter as a prescription.
Laugh to your healthy aging
In my last article on healthy aging lifestyle, the importance of joy/ happiness was emphasized. Happiness has been linked to lengthen telomeres which collerates with longevity and healthy aging. Laugh is defined as an emotional sound an individual produces as a way of expressing positive emotions of happiness, joy, gladness etc. . This is often accompanied by corresponding facial and bodily movement usually associated with joy, good humor, pleasure, instinct expression of lively amusement. If you laugh more you will age healthy and happy because laughter repels fear, pain, depression. George Martin said Laughter is poison to fear. You can laugh sickness out of your body, because laughter depresses stress and depression will eventually disappear. Irish proverbs says a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. Even in the bible in proverbs 7verse 22 says a joyful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries the bones. Laughter enhances healthy aging and that has no substitute. Charlie Chaplin said he thinks that the world should keep laughing because laughter heals all wounds and that is what everybody shares. No matter what you are going through it makes you to forget about your problems. Laugh more to age healthy.
What does it take to Laugh
As mentioned earlier, laughter is free and it is important to laugh whenever you can because it is cheap medicine according to George Byron. You dont need any qualification or certain socio status to laugh, but all people young or old, rich or poor can laugh. When laughing you use the diaphragm and as a result laughing makes most of your internal organs exercise. A study was done by Buchowski et al. in 2005 about energy expenditure of genuine laugh and the result showed that 10-15mins of genuine laugh makes you lose about 10-40 calories. If laugh for 45mins you could lose up 160calories. Laughter is not a learned behavior, we are all born with the capacity to laugh. Laughing makes the body to release some endorphins that makes you feel good and strengthen social bonds. The feel good chemicals promotes a sense of well-being and reduce pain temporarily. Good social life is linked to healthy aging an article by Carlson 2011 Promoting healthy, meaningful aging through social involvement. Laughing decreases stress hormones, increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies thus improves your body resistance to disease. Laughter is natural, free, fun, easy to use and accessible to everyone.
Benefits of Laughter
Laughter makes people to age healthy because it has holistic benefits. Laughter has mental, social, physical and spiritual benefits:
Promotes person to person bonding
Reduces conflicts recurrences
Express true feeling
Adds Joy and flavoured energy to life
Eases anxiety and negative emotions
Improves mood and act as a natural antidepressant
Improves confidence and performance
Distract from negative emotions e.g anger, guilt, shame etc
Drives away fear
Keeps us in touch with reality
A way of connecting with others
Drives away envy, jealous and hate
Soothes the heart
Strengthen your spirit
Laughter heals wounded souls
Strengthen the heart muscle
Reduces muscle tension
Slows down your pulse
Causes one to take deep breaths and hence breathing improves after laughing
Boost immune system
Calms stress hormones levels
Prevent heart disease
Lowers blood pressure
Can lose few calories
Produces sense of well-being
Laughter is vital for healthy aging especially for the over 40s. Currently physician are considering prescribing laughter as a treatment for some mental health illness e.g depression or mood swings. Tohoku 2016 Therapeutic benefits of laughter in mental health: a theoretical review. Laughter is a positive sensation which decreases stress making hormones and it alters dopamine and serotonin activities and causes the feel good chemicals to be released by the endorphins and this helps people to improve from depressive moods. Laughter can be prescribed to treat pain, when you laugh the body release endorphins that act in our brains to alter our perception of pain like what opiates do to the brains and as a result we don’t feel pain as we should. It can be prescribed as a stress relieve in patients with cancer has been found to be effective and Laughter has been prescribed to boost immune system in patient with low immunity. Laughter as prescription enhances healthy aging and the good thing about it is there are no side effects, no allergic reaction or contraindications except that laughter is the best medicine and good for the soul.
How can you laugh
Not taking life to serious
Spend time with funny people
Tap into intertainment watch favourite comedy
Look for humor
Get a pet
Aging is better when you are laughing and you can laugh the age out. Charlie Chaplin said that a day without laughter is a day wasted so it is important to make a habit to laugh a couple of times a day. Many researches showed the benefits of laughter to the body, soul, spirit and mind. It provides holistic benefits, socially, physically, mentally and spiritually which are key to healthy aging. Laughter can be a vital prescription with no side effects, natural, you don’t need money to buy it and no need to visit the doctor. The laughter prescription is within you, just make it a habit to laugh more. You are allowed to laugh with others,on your own and at any time because people who laugh last and everyone wants to be around them.
Laugh prescription: Laugh three times in the morning before you talk to anyone to release the feel good endorphins and laugh again three times in the afternoon when you feel the pain of the day and three times before you go to sleep to laugh out all the stress for the day. This way you will age healthy.