Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine
When you observe someone smiles, and laughing, those behaviors are associated with feelings of joy or happiness. Certainly, everyone is aware that a person whose life is filled with smiles and laughter is probably not a morose or depressed individual. Why is it that even with knowing the solution, sometimes we keep asking how to find happiness in life?
It is well-known through studies, and among medical professionals, that depression and chronic sadness often result in negative outcomes for our health. The effects that the stress of depressive disorders can have on our bodies can produce debilitating results. Contrarily, it is also very well understood that the chemical processes that takes place when we laugh equally impact our bodies in a healthful and positive way.
The science behind humor and what happens physiologically in our bodies when we laugh is both measurable and quantifiable in its positivity.
The medical benefits of laughter are plenty, and the act of laughing has numerous benefits for our physical health, mental states, and our emotional well-being.
In terms of the physiological effects of laughter, it has been studied and proven that laughter reduces the volume of stress hormones (such as cortisol) circulating in our peripheral blood which has a cascade of positive impacts including, but certainly in no way limited to:
• Cardiovascular benefits via the strengthening of vessels which in turn improves the quality of blood flow throughout the body
• Benefits to our endocrine system, namely assisting the pancreas to maintain an appropriate balance between insulin and blood sugar levels via the reduction of cortisol and other stress hormones
• Improves immune health by both the reduction of cortisol but also by assisting the body to create the antibodies that are crucial to protecting the body from contracting a number of communicable diseases
• Helps to burn fat and calories as the physical act of laughing is technically a form of low impact / low stress exercise
• Facilitates the release of endorphins which cause not only an overall sense of euphoria but also act as a neurochemical analgesic (endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer)
• Possible cancer fighting properties (one study found that cancer patients who laughed more were naturally happier and therefore had lower mortality rates and generally better quality of life than those who were depressed and laughed very little)
In addition to the multiple physical advantages to laughing regularly and often, it comes as no surprise that the healing properties of laughter also play an intensely important role in the management of our mental health.
The amount of laughter that a person exhibits can be an accurate gauge that helps to reflect what is going on in our thoughts, feelings, and body.
The healing power of laughter is connected with, and impacts your emotional state. People who are laughing and otherwise jovial are more relaxed than those who are angry. This reduction in tension and stress on the body also helps our physical well-being, because the action of laughing naturally acts as the body’s muscle relaxer.
Anger, sadness, frustration, and all the other “not so happy” emotions that we experience from time to time create an inordinate amount of stress tension that builds up in the body. That stress and tension will take its toll via the process of inflammation.
I encountered something like this in my own body when I was choosing to allow some circumstances in traffic to captivate my thoughts, and created stressful, anxious feelings.
This all happened so quickly too.
I recall how my body felt as it tensed up, and the pressure was building on the inside. The feelings were so intense. This was not a good feeling.
Fortunately, because of what I have been learning and practicing, I was able to shift my mindset, and allow those thoughts and feelings go on their way.
What I really noticed and was thrilled about, was that the shifting of my mindset took considerably less time than when I first had a desire to change from years ago, and had first started practicing a new way of thinking.
I know you will too when you stay the course of your desire, have intentional focus, and shift your mindset when you become aware of the need to change it.
I also have experienced the joy of laughter, and the release of endorphins that pulsed through my body with good vibes. Smiling and laughter are behaviors that are our own powerful weapons to counteract any tension induced scarring.
For all of these reasons and more, there is little to no doubt that laughter truly is the best medicine. If you are finding this information is helping to answer the question of how to find happiness in life, be sure to leave a comment below.
So, what can you do to have real happiness and joy in life? I believe there is a spiritual solution for every problem. The question becomes about how to feel those solutions on the inside of us?
In a previous article, I wrote about how the conscious mind interacts with the subconscious, and then becomes what we see in our physical world. This will prove very helpful, and give you a better understanding of answering the questions above. Check it out here – How to Change Your Mindset – Today.
How to find happiness in life from within ourselves, rather than from some external source, is the beginning of answers.
Here are some ways to build this into yourself starting now.
Cultivating a Joy for Living Mindset
When it comes to having a happy and successful life, mindset is where the answer begins. If your mindset is often negative, you’re likely going to view your life in a negative light, always finding problems or errors. However, if you cultivate a more positive mindset, you’re more likely to find the good in your life.
Let’s walk through what a joy for living mindset is and how you can cultivate it.
What Is a Joy for Living Mindset?
The joy for living mindset is one that is intentionally focused on getting the most out of life. Rather than treating each day like a list of tasks that needs to be completed, this mindset encourages you to be curious and focus on the experience of life. It encourages you to view each moment of your day as another chance to experience the joys of living.
If you are living with this mindset, you find joy in the simple acts of living; the smell of a spring morning, the heat on your skin when you take a walk; you find joy in the various elements of your living, allowing you to live more in the moment and get more enjoyment out of your life.
Have fun with your moments of awareness. Just this morning while walking my daughter to school, I could hear the birds chirping, and I imagined them saying “the early bird gets the worm.”
Cultivating This Mindset
Cultivating and adapting this mindset doesn’t happen overnight; it first requires a desire to being, then intentional conscious effort, with practice of feeling.
Below are a few simple brain hacks to practice. These will be great tools for developing your own joy for living mindset.
Find Beauty Around You
A good way to start practicing living with this mindset is to begin training your brain to find beauty. Someone who fully adopts a joy for living mindset finds beauty in everything around them and the simple act of living. Each day, become aware, and observe to find the beauty in each of your surroundings. Train your brain to find new things to love about places you’ve been to a lot and objects you’ve stared at a million times. This will eventually make this habit second-nature, keeping you in the joy for living mindset.
I caught myself doing this today. It was raining outside, and usually that can really “dampen” your mood… well… I took this practice and turned the rainy day into something beautiful to enjoy. I intentionally thought about it this way, stated it in my words, and felt true to the feeling of it being that way. It worked!
Slow Down and Take the Time to Admire Things
We all get busy and tend to rush through our lives. Living with a joy for living mindset works to stop that tendency and allows you to appreciate the journey of life, rather than spending your life rushing to get as much done in a day as possible. Practice pausing and making a diligent and deliberate effort to truly be present in each moment and appreciate all it has to offer.
The best time to practice this is when you are driving in traffic. Lots of opportunities to just slow down and let the traffic happen. So often I have given in to the idea of having to get around someone, or have to get ahead of everyone, … but when I just slow down, take my time, and allow myself to enjoy the journey…. Peace! Try it .. You will learn to love it!
The best way to get better at appreciating your life and all the wonders that surround you every day is by practicing appreciation and gratitude.
There are a number of ways you can go about this, depending on what it is you’re appreciating.
To practice regular appreciation of those who are important to you, you should express your appreciation fully for what they do for you, and who they are, whenever applicable.
To practice appreciation for what you have in life, you should take the time to admire your surroundings, what each element offers and contributes to the overall scene or its usefulness. Gaining better appreciation for all aspects of your life will help to better keep you in a joy for living mindset.
Practice appreciation for you are, and the value you provide to others. With a mindset for service you are fulfilling your highest calling. Your progress in this quest for how to find happiness in life is something worth appreciating and being grateful for.
What do you do Next?
To answer this means more than just going and doing something. First you have to answer the question of, who do I desire to be? Remember we are first of all human beings, not human doings.
Having the proper joy for living mindset will greatly affect your overall success and happiness in life. This mindset will help you to be more present throughout the various important moments of your life, create a better appreciation for the world around you, and a more positive overall outlook on your life.
All the answers for how to find happiness in life begin within you.