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Too much stress can make it seem like everything in your life is piling up and weighing you down. There are many remedies – both prescription and herbal – but one of the simplest therapies for stress is something that has been used for generations. What is this therapy? Laughter. As crazy as it sounds, laughter is nature’s way of helping us relax and get rid of tension.
Laughter works in a few ways to ease stress. First, it helps relieve the physical signs of stress and anxiety. Laughter can actually help to reduce the amount of stress hormones like cortisol in our blood.
It also gives us a sort of “mini” workout – releasing hormones that make us feel happier. Lastly, it helps to boost our immune system, helping us be better prepared to fight stress when it shows its ugly face.
Laughter is also an emotional release for stress. Our bodies were designed to physically release emotions through things such as laughter and crying. Laughter helps to release some of the negative emotions as well as the positive ones. You have to admit, it’s pretty hard to feel down about something when you’re laughing about something.
In many situation, laughter can also promote social bonding with friends, family, coworkers, etc. Closer bonds help us to have better relationships which in turn can lead to less stress.
So what do you do if you just don’t feel like laughing? Do it anyway. That’s right, even if you don’t feel like laughing, forced laughter can have some of the same affects even if you don’t really think there is something funny to laugh at.
Beyond relieving stress, laughter has also been shown to help boost your immune system, help you eat less, help you heal faster and increase your threshold for pain. Whether it means renting one of your favorite comedy movies or just forcing a laugh every now and then, you can start laughing your way to less stress.