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Working out without breaking a sweat!

15 minutes a day is all it takes. You won’t break a sweat. It isn’t even hard. It is just pleasant and makes your entire body feel good.

But - it is extremely contagious. More so than any virus known to man.

It’s a laughing matter.

You can eat properly and you can exercise. And that’s great. You stay healthy. But feeling good, really, really good is a matter of attitude.

There are massive amounts of books on positive thinking. Think away your divorce, think away your cold, think away your interest rates…

A variety of methods, ranging from thought control to deep breathing and crystals, promise results. You are promised health, joy, intelligence, money, a new husband, even more money, and feeling even better. And so on.

And certainly, there is some truth to the notion that how we feel is a matter of outlook and attitude. Liking our selves, not feeling bitterness, jealousy or envy and a positive outlook are often conditional to feeling good.

But laughter is most important of all.

They say a good laugh can add years to your life. And it is true. From a medical perspective, crucial things happen in your body when you laugh.

Laugh your stress away

Laughter generates a wave of activity throughout your entire body. Not only are your abdominal muscles exercised but also your face, back and leg muscles get a good workout. And you burn calories!

Most of all, laughter reduces stress and protects your heart.

When you laugh the levels of the stress hormone called cortisol drop. Laughter and humour are therefore a good way to deal with crises.

They say a good laugh can add years to your life. And it is true. From a medical perspective, crucial things happen in your body when you laugh. ”

When you laugh your blood pressure rises and then drops below its original position. A hearty laugh sends your heartbeat up 30-40 extra beats a minutes making this a kind of cardiovascular exercise that is good for your heart.

All the side-effects of laughing

Laughter helps us absorb oxygen better. When we laugh we take up to 40 breathes a minute as opposed to our normal 15-16 times a minute. You breathe deeper and the elevated heart rate increases the flow of oxygenated blood through our vessels out to all our organs.

Other side effects of a hearty laugh:

  • Elevates our mood and fosters instant relaxation – while we cannot know for certain, it is probable that laughter frees endorphins in our body that make us feel calm and in harmony. Laughter makes you feel good.
  • Boosts our immune system – the virus killing substances in saliva rise immediately when we watch a funny movie, for instance.
  • Improves brain functions – laughter stimulates both halves of our brain; our brain becomes more alert and allows us to receive and recall more information. We also become more creative since our brain switches track easier when we laugh.
  • Connects you to others- a smile is the shortest distance between two people – it’s the truth. When we laugh we make more eye contact with others and talk more with others. A shared laugh brings us together.
  • Boosts your energy and alleviates muscles tension. Go ahead, laugh and see for yourself…

Though laughter is so important, surveys indicate we don't have that much fun nowadays.

A five-year old child smiles abut 400 times a day, while an adult smiles 15 times in the same period. And we smile shorter periods. In 1950, we smiled 18 minutes a day; in 1999 only 6 minutes.

At least 15 minutes a day

You only need to laugh 15 minutes every day to achieve cardiovascular exercise and other pleasant side effects such as less stress, creativity and more energy.

Begin therefore to look for laughter. Rent a funny movie, comedies are a good start, or read funny books. Spend time with people who make you laugh. If you have a favourite sitcom, make it your highest priority. Don’t miss a single episode. Make it a sport to laugh loudly and properly every time you watch.

Remind yourself to have fun.

A simple recipe for wellbeing is to have more fun. It costs nothing and all you have to do is laugh.

Plus it’s contagious.

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