Laughter is increasingly being recognised as effective lifestyle, preventive medicine and complementary therapy.
Laughter yoga and laughter wellness have a positive impact on physical, mental, social and emotional health because:
Laughter and deep breathing exercises:
- Reduce stress and anxiety, as they lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. When we feel stressed or anxious, the sympathetic nervous system or the body’s stress response becomes activated and the body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This creates a change in our physiology, as the body prepares to deal with danger. Our breathing rate and heart rate increase and the brain becomes highly alert. The stress response can be helpful at times, as it helps us to respond to threatening or high pressure situations. But being in this state for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on our health. It can also affect the body’s ability to heal. Laughter and deep breathing exercises activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is the relaxation response. This helps us to feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Strengthen the immune system, which often becomes weaker under stress. The movement of the diaphragm boosts the lymphatic system and enables it to remove toxins faster and produce more immune cells, which protect the body against illness.
- Increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and body. This is important for good health and makes us feel relaxed, yet energised.
- Releases endorphins, our ”feel good hormones” and the body’s natural pain killers.
- Enhances positivity and optimism and improves our ability to manage challenging situations.
- Brings people together, as we bond with those we laugh with.