Did you know that when you smile more, you are actually improving your mental and physical health?
The founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud claimed that laughter releases a large energy surplus which remains imprisoned in the body.
Also, the great philosopher and philologist Friedrich Nietzsche believed those who smile more protect their sanity, which is disturbed by two dangerous emotions, fear, and anger.
It is scientifically proven that laughter helps to our body to produce substances which cause euphoria. When we laugh, we breathe more air than usual. Our breathing becomes deeper, our vocal cords vibrate uncontrollably.
This activates at least 400 million alveoli! That number is almost tripled from the number that is activated when we normally breathe.
The result of this is that our facial muscles, lungs and generally our body have more oxygen. By inhaling more oxygen, we give better performance to our facial muscles. The blood starts flowing and the result is a nice and blushed complexion.
At the same time, more than 10 muscles in the face and neck are activated. Also, with intense laughter, we activate the lacrimal resources which bring tears to our eyes.
So, laughter is a way to be happy, to banish the stress, to get encouraged. It can also help us to get closer to other people, to feel good, and finally to relax. It is so simple and at the same time so precious.
Not only for our relationships with others, but also for our own organism. It’s really impressive how the laughter promotes our mental and physical health. Although it must be admitted that it is one of the things we take for granted.
Let’s see some of the beneficial effects of laughter on our body:
1. Lowers blood pressure
Nowadays, a lot of people suffer from high blood pressure. Laughter helps to lower the high blood pressure, even to those who begin with normal pressure levels. This way you are reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
2. Triggers the release of endorphins
Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. By laughing, you are releasing endorphins. They are helping to reduce the chronic pain and make you feel much better.
3. Exercises the abdominal muscles
When we smile more, the stomach muscles expand and contract in a similar way when we are training the abdominal muscles.
4. Improves heart health
Laughter is a great gym-alike workout! Especially for those who are unable to do other physical activity due to injuries or illnesses. It is raising the heartbeat and burning the same amount of calories as walking at slow to moderate pace!
5. Strengthens the T-cells
The T-cells are unique cells of the immune system that are waiting idly to be activated in your body. When you laugh, you activate the T-cells, which immediately start to help the body to fight illness.
6. Reduces levels of stress hormones
When you smile more, you are reducing the levels of stress hormones. In addition, you improve the efficiency of your immune system and your mental health.
7. Brings an overall feeling of well-being
Doctors have found that people who have a positive view on life tend to fight diseases better than those who are more negative and pessimistic.
So, a good advice would be to include more laughter in your life! Smile more, share your laughter it with friends, express yourself through this and feel joy and relief. Treat challenges and minor incidents with laughter. When we are able to laugh at things that make us problems, then they suddenly seem smaller.
Of course, they don’t cease to exist and affect us, but they cannot manipulate us anymore. Laughter drives away the negative emotions, tensions and set us free. Do not let a single day to pass without laughter. The best time to start is right now!
Let the children be your example, their jokes don’t make much sense, but have in mind that the silliest jokes make us laugh and smile more than the intellectual and sarcastic ones!
By Apollonas K.
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