Self Love Through Laughter: The Significance of Laughter on Mind, Body, and Spirit
So far this month, we have delved pretty deeply into the underlying causes hidden away within ourselves that prevent us from consistently participating in self-care. What we have essentially discovered is that at the bottom of everything, it is about our sense of self-worth--however that was formed or created. As a result, it seems as though the only way to overcome these ingrained beliefs is through serious emotional work, reflection, and introspection. However, constantly grappling with our innermost thoughts and attempting to "unlearn" patterns, beliefs, and behaviors can be truly exhausting. Tirelessly examining ourselves under an emotional microscope may not be the answer. While that is of course a key component in the process toward peace of mind, I will point us back to a word that seems to arise in every post: balance. This spiritual contemplation must be experienced in equal doses with something that helps lighten and lift our hearts, vibrations, and outlooks...laughter.
As Robert Frost succinctly states, "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane." But laughter and humor are not just healing for our spirits. Laughter has been scientifically proven to benefit and improve overall health and well-being...so much so, that it has recently been used as a healing method to help hospital patients experience a more speedy recovery! Take a look at the many ways that laughter benefits our whole beings in body, mind, and spirit.
In the Body
In the human body, laughter has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce stress and anxiety, and lower blood pressure. Making sure to laugh often not only decreases the production of blood stress hormones including adrenaline, cortisone, epinephrine and dopamine, but simultaneously increases the production of health hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters. Regular laughter also promotes a healthy immune system through assisting in the production of antibodies that help the body protect against infections. Laughing is also great for our hearts, providing exercise to the vascular system and improving the function of arteries! Perhaps best of all...it's a fun ab workout!
In the Mind
Laughter is incredible for relaxation and an individual's overall mental and emotional health. Can you ever remember being stressed when you were having fun and finding humor in something? Didn't think so. Humor and laughter are what I would call "healthy distractions" in that they draw our attention away from anger, stress, guilt, and other negative emotions, and help us bring our focus into a more positive, and ultimately productive, place. Bringing ourselves into this state of mind naturally improves our mood, which benefits our social interactions and helps us create stronger, longer lasting bonds with others in our lives.
In the Spirit
In a spiritual sense, laughter helps us to recognize not just the silver lining in our circumstances, but the humorous side. When we can objectively stand back from our situation and find the humorous twist, it helps us experience our lives from a new perspective. By creating emotional distance and looking at whatever we are facing as funny, it opens us up to the possibilities of creating new ideas, insights, and solutions to our situations. This doesn't mean that we shy away from or shirk our responsibilities, but rather helps us to be better equipped to tackle them head on because we are not as emotionally invested in any sort of outcome.
"I find the humor in life and laugh easily. As I laugh, I feel my vibration rise and know that my body, mind, and soul are nurtured by my openness to enjoy humor."
Take time today to watch a funny film, take silly pictures with your friends or even your dog, check out a comedy or improv show, and most of all, try to see the humor in your day to day life. Look at the world with a light heart, babes, and know that you are always cared for by Spirit. It's easy to find life funny when we know that everything always works out for our greatest and highest good anyway, right? As the saying goes, "We make plans, and God laughs." If he is laughing, why can't you? To help you get started, check out the video below! Namaste. xo