If they make you smile, keep them.

Hello, hello! Happy Monday dear readers and welcome to the work week. I am at it early today despite my tiredness. It’s going to be a busy one so I have to find time to write in parts of the day that were reserved for other things before. I’m trying to think of it as an experiment, I might learn something from having to change-up my routine. I might even find I like things better this way. Positive thoughts and all that jazz you know?

These past few weeks I have been feeling irritable and not much in the mood for laughter and playing around. I tell myself I have too much to do and too many things to think about to be goofing off with friends. I don’t need the distractions! I watch everyone have their fun and I found myself becoming bitter, I was becoming a real grouch.

How could they just go one laughing when there was so much they could be doing, that I am trying to do, right now. I was bringing everyone down.

“If they make you smile, keep them.”

// happyjoshblog

Last summer my job hosted a little seminar on the benefits of laughter. The woman who hosted it had us play games and connect with each other and afterward pointed out to us that while we were having fun we weren’t worried about anything else. We didn’t care ow long we had been there, we didn’t care about following the rules, we didn’t care about who was our friend and who wasn’t, we didn’t care about the bills we had to pay or what we had to do tomorrow. For a short time, we were able to let it all go and just play.

I often forget to appreciate the people who make my life bearable when things around me feel like they are piling up and I am falling behind. Sometimes all the laughter and fun can feel more like a distraction rather than a necessary part of the day, and get irritated by them

This week I want to look at it differently. Having that time to let go of everything that is stressing me out is important because you know what they say:  All work and no play makes Lisa a very dull girl!

When we laugh we change physiologically. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. Some specific benefits of laughter are:

Laughing lowers blood pressure.

People who lower their blood pressure, even those who start at normal levels, will reduce their risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Laughing reduces stress hormone levels.

You benefit from reducing the level of stress hormones your body produces because hormone-level reduction simultaneously cuts the anxiety and stress impacting your body. Additionally, the reduction of stress hormones in your body may result in higher immune system performance.

Laughing is a fun ab workout.

One of the benefits of laughter is that it can help you tone your abs. When you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs.

Laughter improves cardiac health.

Laughter is a great cardio workout, especially for those who are incapable of doing other physical activity due to injury or illness. It gets your heart pumping and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.

Laughter boosts T-cells.

T-cells are specialized immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. When you laugh, you activate T cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins.

Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. By laughing, you can release endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over.

Laughter produces a general sense of well-being.

Laughter can increase your overall sense of well-being. Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative.

Everyone needs laughter and to take yourself too seriously should be considered a sin. We all do it from time to time. We get bitter, and mean, and we squash the fun of people around us. This week, try not to do that. Make people laugh, or at the very least allow them to laugh, and if someone is making you laugh, make them a part of your life.

Loosen up, lighten up, and have a little fun, okay?

***

Featured image via Unsplash.com

Benefits of laughter via Gaiam

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Published by

Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

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