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We all need a Good Belly Laugh

Laughing helps strengthen your immune system to fight off the colds and viruses and lowers activity in the “stress” areas of the brain.

The giggles are so good for you that, as a holistic practitioner, I often advise clients to watch funny movies and read lighthearted books.

Every part of the body benefits from a good belly laugh.

Your heart rate and blood pressure speed up, but afterwards they drop lower than before.

It airs out the dead space in the lungs that normally just collects stale breath.

The brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters, and the depression-buster dopamine. The prefrontal and temporal lobes go limp for a few seconds — a very calming feeling.

All throughout the body, muscles tense slightly during laughter, and then relax even more afterwards.

The wisest people use laughter to cope with stress or loss, which stimulates all these great physical benefits exactly when they are most needed.

Laughter is contagious. Watch this and tell me you are not laughing!

The expression “fake it till you make it” applies here: when you laugh, even for no reason, your body doesn’t know whether it’s real or forced. That is why you should start bringing more laughter into your life today.

Now more then ever while we are in “stayathome mode it is important to find a way to laugh. Call or facetime a funny, silly friend, or find room in your day for play, whether it’s sports or board games — but play for fun, not to win. There is even something called “Laughing Yoga,” where people get together and just laugh for 30 to 45 minutes every week. You can do it at home by watching videos on YouTube

So, if you are depressed or overwhelmed, stay away from depressing movies and stop reading “The Tales of a Murderer” and similar books. Instead, watch a comedy. Or maybe just cultivate a sense of delight and exuberance.

If you believe that life is funny, pretty soon you’ll start to see funny things in it.

Just remember my motto: laughter takes you from moping to coping to hoping.

Lee Pryke, Spiritual Life Coach

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