- Is it really worth getting upset over?
- Is it worth upsetting others?
- Is it that important?
- Is it that bad?
- Is the situation irreparable?
- Is it really your problem?
After asking yourself these questions, if you still feel like you are being possessed by The Grinch-Meister, then its time to up your game and laugh. It has been proven that people who laugh on a regular basis look on average five to seven years younger than those who do not.
Laughing doesn’t just help you look younger or lighten your load mentally, it can actually cause physical changes in your body. A good gut-busting laugh can have both short and long term benefits. Some of the short term benefits are:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles. It also increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
In a study done of nearly 150 college students, those that complained and “vented” to their friends felt less satisfied than those who put their problems in a funny or positive light. Venting keeps the angry thoughts alive and percolating, laughing relaxes you and it just feels good.
Think about it: The last time you laughed so hard you cried, how did you feel after? More than likely you felt really great and the stressful situation was momentarily diffused. A good laugh is a powerful tool.
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. What are some of the long term benefits?
- Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
Ask yourself what aspects of your situation are so absurd that you can’t help but laugh. And then do it.