International Moment of Laughter Day is celebrated on 14th April 2016 and was created by Humorologist Izzy Gesell to encourage people to laugh, because ‘laughter really is the best medicine’.
When was the last time you had a really good ‘belly laugh’? This doesn’t always happen spontaneously, sometimes we need to spend time with the people in our lives who really make us chuckle. With those who share a similar humour and outlook on life, being able to see the funny side in quite ordinary situations.
Laughing is an involuntary reaction to certain external or internal events. Laughter can arise from activities such as being tickled, or from humorous stories or thoughts. Most commonly, it is considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, happiness and relief. Laughter can also be used to help embarrassing situations like accidentally bumping into someone, tripping over or turning up at an event in the same outfit as someone else.
To get you in a humorous mood, watch your favourite comedy show or film. We all have our own preference, it could be satire, black comedy, farcical, romantic comedy or even good old-fashioned slap-stick that gets us laughing.
Or try ‘Laughter Yoga’ which is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. Laughter yoga originated in India and is done in groups, with eye contact and playfulness between participants. Forced laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter. You could try this with your family or close friends, if you have young children get them involved, they would find it great fun. Listen to children laughing and join in their merriment, you’ll soon be laughing at their silly antics.
It’s now becoming clear that though laughter is an essential social sign of affection and affiliation, it may be even more important than that. Research into couples has shown that people who deal with unpleasant, stressful situations with positive emotions like laughter not only feel immediately better, they are also happier in their relationships and stay together for longer. Laughter is a very useful way for people to regulate their emotions and feel better together. Shared laughter is more enjoyable, it will make you laugh even louder at funny situations and you’ll have the added benefit of strengthening your bonds.
Laughter can also be good for your health, it helps to form a healthy function of blood vessels and a reduction in stress levels. When laughing, the brain releases endorphins that can also relieve some physical pain. So try to ‘laugh away’ the pain, the next time you knock your ‘funny bone’ which is actually named after the bone in your upper arm called the ‘humerus’. Laughter is good for the facial muscles too! It promotes deeper breathing which energises you, providing a sense of well-being for some time after.
Allow laughter to bring light relief and joy into your life on International Laughter Day and regularly thereafter. Feel the benefit of indulging your humour, have a good laugh and embrace the ‘feel good factor’.
If you need to offload some of your problems to allow you the freedom of mind to lighten up and take life less seriously for a while, then call one of our enlightened Readers at TheCircle.
PUBLISHED: 18 March 2016