Stress is often termed “The Silent Killer.” It is inevitable in the modern world. And while stress is unavoidable, it’s still prudent to make efforts to reduce it as much as possible. High stress levels can cause more than a bad temper or outbursts. Stress is linked to serious health risks to common health problems that compound as stress increases.
Stress has been deemed at least partly responsible for increased risk of ailments like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, anxiety, memory loss, and diabetes.
The short term effects of high stress levels are headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, decrease in sex drive, and many other less severe, yet still impactful symptoms.
Change what you can in your own environment to help reduce stress. However, you must accept that life is complicated and some amount of stress will always be present. This means that you will also need to have stress reduction techniques in your self care tool belt to help you manage the experience of stress. Laughter may be an easy, and fun, tool to consider. This may cause you to laugh due to its simplicity, though scientific studies back this up. Laughter is a primitive behavior. Laughter is a primitive form of medicine.
In a recent study, laughter therapy was found to be an effective, noninvasive, non-pharmacological form of therapy, effectively reducing the effects of stress.
The study, published in the Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, was based on the premise that laughter is a positive sensation, seemingly being a useful and healthy way to overcome stress.
As stress levels increase, the body responds by producing higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, growth hormone, and 3, 4-dihydrophenylacetic acid. If stress is not resolved, depression can ensue due to neurotransmitters in the brain, including norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, becoming significantly reduced.
The research revealed that laughter therapy can alter dopamine and serotonin activity in the body, effectively creating a more pleasurable, less depressed mood.
In this way, laughter therapy can affect mental health by increasing important chemicals in the brain and lowering harmful chemicals created during stressful situations. Laughter increases social connectedness. We know that social connectedness increases longevity. Laughter represents just one easy important tool to help you deal with stress.
What makes you laugh? Think about it. A funny book, a funny TV show or movie, hearing a joke, watching a funny event or situation occur? Did you know that laughter yoga exists? Being tickled or tickling someone else almost always works. What any one individual considers funny is elusive. The bottom line tends to be that humor results when a person simultaneously recognizes both that a norm has been breached and that the breach is benign. You may spend hours online researching how to improve your health. Spend a few minutes to consider what you find to be funny and try to create more of it in your life:)