Laughter
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Laughter is usually done in happiness and is a way of bringing about joyfulness. It is found in many areas of daily life, such as in boredom or celebration.

Laughter can be done in groups or alone, and when it takes place in happiness, it can be very beneficial. But today, there are a lot of worries, such as; the economy, war, or environmental matters, which cloud the mind and override the opportunities for laughter and optimism.

With all of the new found reasons for change and improvement in today’s world, meaningless laughter seems to slip between the cracks. In schools, work and home life, there is constant talk about the stock market, economic troubles, environmental issues, and the war with Iraq. Laughter and its never ending benefits are forgotten. If laughter is lost then so are its medical advantages; as commonly stated, “Laughter is the best medicine”.

According to the Laughter Network:

“Laughter releases endorphins, giving us the 'feel good factor'
Acts as aerobic exercise and is like 'internal jogging'
Unleashes inhibitions, breaks down barriers
Great team building tool encourages better communication
Helps boost our immune system which helps us resist disease
Tones muscles, improves respiration and circulation
Encourages positive thinking and creativity
Relaxes the whole body by reducing stress and tension”2

If laughter does slip away from our daily life, and worry replaces it all of these heath advantages will be lost as well. Instead, the effects of over worrying will replace the benefits. The stress response in the body includes two parts; the perception and the autonomic response of a rush of adrenaline. Worrying in excess triggers the stress response.3. If the body is constantly under stress and responding to it, producing a surplus of adrenaline, it causes the body to break down. Laughter can relieve the body from some of this pressure.

Studies show that people who laugh have better physical and mental health. It increases the immune system, in multiple ways. Also, it decreases serum cholesterol, it a sense counteracting stress. Laughter has been shown to be a natural pain relieve, therefore in times of need and sorrow, it can alleviate mental and physical pail. Again, it has been said that there are definite medical benefits for patients, whose caregivers intentionally help them to smile and laugh.4 One local health care facility, who’s mission statement include providing health care for individuals near the close of life, has nurses who also believe that “laughter is the best medicine”.5

Laughter should be found in everyone’s life, but today business people and individuals in stressful job situations seem to be finding it more difficult to laugh daily. Here are some helpful tips on how to reduce stress levels by implementing relief by laugher.

LEARN to find little things in stressful times to laugh at.
GIVE projects funny nick-names (especially if it is a stressful project)
FIND ways to laugh at ones self
SEND (if possible) funny email, cards, etc. to brighten a coworkers’ day.
INICIATE fun group projects, lunches and such even if silly.
POST A BULLITON board with reminders of funny past events.
KEEP items or pictures at work area that implement laughter.

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Laughter in times of anguish can have immense benefits to ones self and surrounding individuals. By applying these tips to the workplace, more laughter can be found in stressful times.

When finding ways to add laughter to the daily life, overall well-being can increase as well as positive health. If can also be a way to find relief of suffering.

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