How to use laughter to reduce stress

At the risk of sounding cliched I am going to remind you of the most common adage, 'laughter is the best medicine.' You can choose to laugh your blues away, laugh your troubles right out of the window and laugh your problems into oblivion. It not only sounds fantastic, also it is quite true. How you handle stress and find ways to reduce stress is in your hands; it's all about your attitude towards life.

When you are down and troubled, stressed out, anxious or worried about something it may be hard to imagine laughing at such times. However, if you can, you should try it at least once and you will soon realize how good it can make you feel. Laughter helps to reduce stress is a scientific fact and has been proven through research. The body is made up of stress hormones, which includes epinephrine or adrenaline, cortisol, dopamine and the growth hormones. When you laugh the stress hormones are reduced and the 'feel good' endorphins are released.

You can always watch a funny movie or television program, read a funny story or even go online and read some jokes. Try to get out of your feeling of despair; it will only increase your stress. You should instead try to get involved in what your spouse or child is doing - children are a constant source of amusement and time spent with a child can help reduce stress levels quite dramatically.

There are several stress related benefits from laughter, they include:
Laughter helps to increase antibody producing cells; this in turn improves the effectiveness of the T cells in the body. Enhanced T cells mean a stronger immune system and lesser physical stress effects.

Imagine a good hearty laugh, a laugh that comes from deep within - it works out the diaphragm, and it is a great workout for your shoulders as well as your abs. The feeling you experience after a hearty laugh is one of relaxation. Laughter is very good for your heart - it keeps it ticking happily!

Laughter is an excellent form of release both physically and emotionally. You will experience a sense of lightness after a good laugh. You will also find it very hard to go back to being stressed out.

Laughter can be a very good form of distraction; it will divert emotions away from stress and anxiousness. Negative feelings and guilty feelings tend to get reduced and this in turn helps to reduce the stress you feel.

Humor often lends a lighter perspective to the problems of life. Someone once mentioned that how we view challenges in life is similar to viewing a cup with liquid filled in it - it being either half empty, a negative point of view or half full, a very positive attitude. At least you have a half full cup rather than a fully empty one!

Laughter helps us to connect with people on a social level; it can be contagious and fun. Also, company of good people can also help to share our burdens. It is important to stay in the company of positive people, they will help elevate your mood and reduce stress. When we mingle with the right group of friends we get encouragement, right advice and lessening of our stress load. All of which are good stress reducers.

Jay Kulak is an expert on stress and anxiety. He offers a free newsletter you can subscribe to that will help you manage stress and anxiety at

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