Have a good laugh and be kind to yourself

Models pictured by Stormy All on Unsplash

So the saying goes – and for good reason; we all know the joy a good, full-on belly laugh cab bring.

Life however, during Covid-19, might not have been a barrel of laughs for everyone, especially those missing loved ones or worried about their livelihoods. But amidst the uncertainty, we’ve still been finding ways of finding humour, to keep ours and others spirits up. Whether it’s been family antics via online video chats, or partaking in the weekly online quizzes, we’ve been trying to see the funny side of life in lockdown.

It can’t be quantified just how good laughter has been for us during these times of restricted movement, but in terms of body and mind, laughter is good for you – so laugh and be kind to yourself.

Physically, laughing causes your lungs to fill with air, stretches your facial muscles and tightens your abdominal muscles – all causing your pulse and blood pressure to rise, similar to how your body reacts when you exercise.

In the short-term laughter improves blood flow, strengthens your immune system and lowers blood sugar levels, too. Additionally, laughter triggers a relaxation response in the brain, which can temporarily relieve pain and help you sleep better.

It’s no joke

Mentally, laughter reduces the stress chemicals in your brain and increases the amount of oxygen flowing through your brain and body – which is great for your mental health. Laughing can even turn a negative experience into a positive one and can brighten your mood for the rest of the day.

In the longer term, laughter can help improve your immune system. That’s because positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

A good giggle can also act as pain relief, by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations, and can help you connect with other people. Laughing can also improve your mood, by help lessening your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

If you’re finding it hard to locate your sense of humour, it can actually be learned, so why not give it a try: turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you’ve had your chuckle, take stock of how you’re feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That’s the natural wonder of laughing at work.

Regardless if it’s watching a funny YouTube video or reminiscing about a hilarious event from your past, laughter connects you to a moment of pure happiness and joy.

Laughter has a contagious quality that is triggered by others and people are drawn to you when you laugh because it spreads positivity and good feelings. So, if you want to make some friends, laugh more!

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