From my shoulders bouncing, eyes closed, no sound to an all-out loud, on-going guffaw. It's pretty boisterous and sometimes, even scares me! Sometimes, often, I have people give me stink-eye because of it, but I don't care. It's an honest, gut reaction and it's a part of who I am and I'm proud of it. I make no apologies.
Laughter has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety but thats not all it seems to do for us.
There is some scientific-based reasons for this and I'll give 'em to ya.
"Intuitively we know that laughter is one of the best tools we have for dealing with stress, and science backs that up. In fact, research into laughter goes even further, revealing that it's a potent drug with the contagious power of a virus that conveys a slew of benefits for the mind and body." (1)
It reduces pain. Laughter also helps to reduce blood sugar levels and increase the tolerance of glucose for diabetics as well as non-diabetics.
Laughter has been shown to release endorphin's which is like a euphoric narcotic but without the horribly addictive side-effects. Makes you feel good.
Laughter is contagious. It can create a wonderful social happiness effect. It can spread like wildfire. Have you ever started laughing because someone else was laughing, even though you had no idea what they were laughing about? I know I have.
Laughter can create various brain region activity. There varying types of laughter ie; joy, tickling, teasing. Each variation causes the brain to figure out what the laughter is conveying.
It appears that the more laughter in a relationship, the higher the quality of the relationship. I'll add here that it seems women laugh more than men but men instigate the laughter more. Men appreciate women who laugh at their stuff more and women appreciate men with a great sense of humor. I know I do!
Laughter appears to release the neuro-transmitter serotonin which acts like an anti-depressant. "They" aren't sure for how long this goes lasts but for at least a little while.
It appears that laughter helps protect the heart muscles, blood vessels and brain. Though the reasons aren't, again, clear, it is believed to be the result of the less stress and allowing greater blood flow to the lining of the blood vessels called endothelium to relax and expand.
Since the endothelium is where atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) begins, keeping it healthy helps to benefit the entire cardio-vascular system.
There is also a possibility that laughter causes an increase in the level of nitric oxide in the arterial vessel walls. This helps the dilation of the aforementioned endothelium.
"Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system," (2)
My cv system must be iron-clad! It can be a great ab workout too. ever have a sore core after having a good laughing jag? Your core muscles all get involved. You may not get a 6-pack from laughing but tightening them through laughter beats crunches any day. No neck pulling, no back straining, fabulous!
Tonight I'm, once again, going to a comedy club with some friends. I went a few weeks ago too. I and my friends tend to receive free passes fairly often between us. Makes it fun.
So keep laughing people. Loud and free and often. It's good for your heart, brain, relationship and enjoy your life.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking "Water Exercise!" but I'm not in outdoor pools right now since it's winter weather here finally, so it doesn't matter what the weather is outside. It does feel great to work in the water. If you've never tried it, you should. It's more than it looks as a workout, but you do need to put some ooooomph into it. It could surprise you. Of course, afterwards, we plop into the Jacuzzi. When I feel as though I'm poached, I get out. Ahhhh. Then I go home, eat my lunch and do my barre workout. The other days I go walking with my clients and with the pooch everyday.
I'm going to do another yard sale but it was soooooo cold this morning, in the 30's, that I decided I'd wait 'til Sun. when it'll be warmer out. I can't wait to get rid of some more of the crap I've accumulated over the decades. I also wrote the Tucson Unified School District to donate my old flute and music stand to a needy school out here. It's so sad to have an instrument not played. I hope they get back to me soon. I need to find how much it'll cost to replace the thumb screw and keypads.
Don't forget to send your thoughts and donations to the victims of the horrific fires in southern California. It breaks my heart to see all of the evastation and my heart aches for all of these people who've lost everything.