Laughter + Happiness = Good Health?

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We here at The Fat Loss Authority, like many other health and fitness related sites, give you plenty of information on eating right, cooking your own meals, counting calories, exercising regular and becoming more physically active. But very little attention is given to another important factor that heavily influences weight loss: attitude.

Having a good attitude, a positive attitude and happiness in your every day life can give you a more positive outlook on life, which can lead you to better health. When we’re unhappy with our bodies we often skip fun things like going to the beach or out to eat, because we don’t want to be reminded about our physical flaws.

[A hearty laugh can make you feel better mentally and physically.]

But this is exactly the attitude that could be keeping you overweight and unhealthy. Keep reading to learn how a better attitude can help transform a better YOU!

Happiness & Health

Since we’re getting close to the end of National Humor Month, we thought it would be insightful to talk about how happiness can really help you reach your goals.

It should come as no surprise to any of us that laughing adds joy to life, but studies have shown that even simulated laughter, compared to spontaneous laughter, can have positive health benefits. Even a laugh because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings can produce health benefits because, although the brain can make the distinction, the human body cannot.

It isn’t just weight loss and overall quality of life benefits that are produced as a result of laughter and happiness, but a 2010 study published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that laughter has psychological, social, physiological and even spiritual benefits. This is good news for those who can always see the silver lining in anything, but it should also give those sour pusses (like me) a reason to embrace the silly, the fun and the outrageous, even if it’s just for good health!

So how exactly can laughter improve our health?

Laughter Reduces Stress

Laughter is a good stress relief agent and it doesn’t cost anything, and it is unlikely that laughter will interfere with any medications you’re currently taking.

Stress produces the hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. A hearty laugh can reduce your release of cortisol because it basically confused your body’s stress reaction. You laugh and your body gets excited and your heart rate and blood pressure slightly rise, which produced a happy and relaxed, stress-free feeling.

So next time you’re in a funk, don’t fight the urge to laugh at a bad joke, an inadvertent slip or your own mistake because it’s a prescription free way to alleviate the stress of daily life. The more you reduce your stress, the less likely you are to succumb to hypertension or heart disease.

Improved Immune System

One of the long term health benefits of laughter and happiness is that you get sick less often. When you laugh your body relieves stress, which releases neuropeptides that can not only fight stress, but also stave off illnesses from the common cold and flu and even for more serious illnesses like cancer.

Laughter also increases our production of T-cells, which are anti-bodies that fight infections to keep us healthy and feeling good.

Getting a laugh can be as simple as playing a trick on an unsuspecting stranger, like this couple below. Take this daily laugh as a starter from TFLA:

Better Organ Function

If you have trouble breathing or you just have that ‘blah’ feeling frequently consider reading a funny book or watching a comedy to help get your organs functioning optimally. When you laugh, you take in more oxygen which stimulates your muscles, heart and lungs. This oxygen-rich air that your body gets helps your blood circulate better which can reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Nature’s Painkiller

The next time you’re feeling niggling aches and pains, whether from working out, work stress or just plain life stress, give yourself a good chuckle to alleviate that pain. When we laugh we produce a hormone called endorphins which is how the human body can regulate pain. Laughing can break up the cycle of pain spasms that are commonly found in those with muscle disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic.

[Laughing makes everything more fun...even at the gym!]

But it isn’t just hardcore, serious pain that laughter can alleviate; it can be something as benign as a headache or sore muscles because you haven’t worked out in awhile.

Laughing Is Social

When most of us laugh usually it is something said or done by someone else that is the source of this laughter, which is good news since several new studies have revealed that not just laughter, but friendship can help us lead healthier, longer lives.

But it isn’t just that social relationships—marriage, friendship and family—can help us survive health problems, but not having these relationships can actually cause health problems. So having a happy life that is full of laughter and healthy relationships is part of what we need as humans to stay mentally and physically fit.

Learning To Love Life

Of course it’s ok to be down once in awhile, but if you’re allowing the way you look or what you see on the scale to influence your overall attitude then you’ll have a much harder time fixing that problem. When you’re sad or depressed, you’re unmotivated to do anything about it. But when you’re happy and energized, you want to get out and live your life which can mean going for a walk in the park or learning to make your own pasta.

The point is that that by having a more positive outlook and overall attitude you can do much more than if you’re a perpetual negative Nancy. If you’re a life-long sour puss, consider these tips to help you add happiness and laughter to your life;

  • Comic strips; hang them in your office, on the fridge or bathroom mirror to start your day with a chuckle.
  • Become a joker, learning jokes and sharing them with your friends. By sharing a laugh you get to laugh twice!
  • Learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously, if you make a silly mistake laugh it off for the goof it was instead of beating yourself up over it.
  • Rotate comedies into your favorite books, films and TV shows.
  • Embrace old photos that are embarrassingly funny, share them and post them where you can always see them for a quick guffaw.
  • Weird news is a great way to laugh and share a laugh; people do crazy and funny things if you know where to look!

Don’t just wait until you get the body of your dreams to get happy and start loving your life. Start now and just imagine how much better it will be when you can look at yourself naked in the mirror and smile at the progress!