Laughing all the way to the Gym…
Norman Cousins, an MD, was diagnosed with a potentially fatal autoimmune disease in the 1970s and he wrote a book called Anatomy of an Illness documenting his full recovery. He attributed his recovery to two particular interventions. One was massive doses of vitamin c and the other is laughter. Through his work he is credited with being one of the originators of the mind-body concept. He clearly demonstrated the importance of laughter in the healing process.
Since then the impact of laughter has been investigated by other scientists including a Dr Beck, a psychoneuroimmunology researcher from Loma Linda University in California. He demonstrated the powerful positive impacts of laughter on our immune system; he found that repetitious GENUINE laughter, which he calls Laughercise, causes the body to respond in a way similar to moderate physical exercise – enhancing your mood, decreasing stress hormones, enhance immune activity, lowers bad cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and raises good cholesterol (HDL).
So if for whatever reason you cannot exercise today then just spend 20 to 30 minutes having a good belly laugh. This of course reminds us to not take ourselves or life too seriously…to have an attitude of mild amusement with the possibility of bursting into deep raucous laughter at a moment’s notice…to be able to laugh at yourself (in a respectful and compassionate way) is a real sign of emotional maturity and inner security.
Also research shows that mums who laugh before breastfeeding produce milk with higher levels of melatonin which enhances relaxation and builds the baby’s immune system against eczema and other allergic reactions