5 Ways to Laugh Yourself Healthy
World Laughter Day is this Sunday (1st May) so we have gathered five top tips to help us get the giggles, and feel the benefits of laughing!
Why is laughing good for us?
Having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress – it triggers healthy changes in our body. “Many studies show that laughter boosts our energy, decreases stress hormones, improves immunity and diminishes pain. But what’s very important for anyone, who is stressed, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist (www.marilynglenville.com) and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women.
1. Get fishy with it!
To increase the chance of having a chuckle we need to make sure that our mood is balanced, and making sure you’re having enough fish in your diet could be the answer. “We’ve all heard of fish being great ‘brain food’ and there is a reason for this. Almost 60% of our brains are made up of fat, and about half of that fat is DHA omega 3 fatty acids, which really can only be found in fish. Omega 3 are known as ‘essential’ fats because we cannot make them in the body and therefore need to get through eating oily fish and taking a good high strength supplement. These essential fats are needed for the brain cells to actually ‘pick up’ our neurotransmitters (i.e. serotonin) so that they can be utilised by the brain cells and play their part in our mood, increasing happiness and reducing anxiety,” explains Dr Glenville.
If fish doesn’t tempt your taste buds why not try NHP’s Omega 3 Plus (www.naturalhealthpractice.com
2. Get socialising
To get yourself in stitches make sure you’re socialising on a regular basis, not just searching for ‘funny videos’ on YouTube or watching your favourite comedian. This is because research (by neuroscientist Robert Provine) suggests that we laugh the most when we’re with our friends. So arrange a get together, and get the jokes going!
3. Get moving
Physical activity has been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety and get us in the mood for having a laugh. Having a regular exercise routine can help alleviate negative feelings in the long term.
“It doesn’t need to be intensive or of long duration: even a 10-minute brisk walk or a short exercise DVD can help boost those endorphins. Try pilates, which will increase your flexibility and improve posture as well as help to release tension,” explains Lynne Robinson, author of Pilates for Life and founder of Body Control Pilates (www.bodycontrolpilates.com)
A quality sleep is essential for well-being and happiness, as not sleeping enough (four and a half hours a night) may lead to feeling stressed, angry, sad and mentally exhausted, not putting us in the eight frame of mind to have a good laugh.
“Sleep is a significant part of living a healthy lifestyle, and many of us simply do not get enough. Stress and sleep are related: if we don’t get enough sleep we can find it harder to adapt to challenging situations, and when we can’t cope as efficiently with stress it can be harder to have a good nights rest.
Many of us experience feelings of pressure, tension, and nervousness. Especially after a busy and stressful day and these feelings can feel more prominent at bedtime,” explains Martina Della Vedova, Nutritionist at Nature’s Plus UK.
“Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ and is needed to relax our muscles and nerves, which helps us to fall into a peaceful sleep. To ensure you’re getting enough magnesium try and include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables. I’d also recommend taking the new KalmAssure Magnesium Powder, by Nature’s Plus (www.naturesplus.co.uk). This is a naturally chelated magnesium which is very easy to absorb and easily delivered to the tissues,” explains Martina
KalmAssure Magnesium Powder, £24.50, available from www.naturesplus.co.uk
5. Get a grip
It’s important we keep things in perspective, so that we worry less and get our daily dose of laughs. Misplaced your keys, or lost a pair of shoes? Yes, it’s definitely an inconvenience but keys and shoes are replaceable, things could be much worse! When you start taking things too seriously, remind yourself of how the situation could have escalated, and try and chuckle at your misfortune, rather than drowning in self-pity