“The physical benefits of laughter are phenomenal. Laughter stimulates the brain, the nervous system, the respiratory system, the hormonal system, and the body’s muscles. Health and laughter combine, because when a person laughs, all of the body systems are involved. Muscles contract, respiration increases in volume and rate, and blood pressure is elevated. Body temperature increases and the central nervous system is activated. The real benefit, however, is that the activity levels of these systems when the body is at rest, is experienced in breathing, pumping of the blood, and muscle contractions. After a good laugh, these levels fall below normal, giving us the feelings of deep relaxation and overall good feeling.
Laughter makes it easier to deal with life and its many challenges. People who laugh don’t worry as much as people who don’t laugh. It also helps us deal with conflict better, because it provides us with a better perspective. Laughter facilitates problem-solving. When we trust, we drop our defenses. Laughter makes us open up, and allows us to be vulnerable. As a result we become more willing to make changes. Laughter lifts us up and makes life worth living. It makes us feel safer and feel less awkward.”
Gerry Hopman, in “Lighten Up!”
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