April is National Humor Month. I believe it could transform the world if we all immersed our lives in humor and laughter for the entire month of April. A good sense of humor and laughter might melt our political, social, and economic stress away. It is physiologically impossible to experience laughter and stress simultaneously.
Barbara Bush has been quoted quite a bit since her death. She always talked about laughter and a sense of humor, being the key ingredient to the intimacy, happiness, and love of their 73 year marriage. I have been married 43 years and can attest to the fact that laughter and humor have been a glue and a source of pure joy in our journey together.
Here are some of the health benefits when you have a good sense of humor:
- Immune boost. You get an immune boost when you laugh and that helps prevent disease.
- Heart health. Laughter increases the blood flow to your heart. This helps prevent heart disease.
- Relaxation. Your muscles are relaxed for 30-45 minutes after you laugh.
- Exercise. When you laugh you are exercising your face, lungs, chest muscles, diaphragm, abdomen and many other parts of your body. Your body loves this exercise!
- Stress hormones. Laughter reduces the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, you produce. You experience less stress.
- Strengthens relationships. You are more open, spontaneous and honest when you laugh. Laughter creates a bonding and trust with others in your life.
- Longevity. Some studies show that people who have a good sense of humor and laugh actually live longer.
Invite laughter into your life today with these good sense of humor tips:
- Smile. Smiling can be a health and spiritual practice. Many spiritual leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu smile as a spiritual practice of kindness and as an invitation to others. When you smile others mirror your smile.
- Playfulness. Start being more playful. Don’t take yourself or your life too seriously is the first step. Playful people are people we all want to be around at home and work. There is a wonderful fluid energy to playfulness. George Barnard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
- Animals. Play with your animals regularly. They will love it and so will you. There are also health benefits to playing and being with animals.
- #LOL. Play videos online and trending funny videos.
- Television/video shows. Watch shows like Seinfeld, Modern Family or other shows that make you laugh.
- Games. Play games with family, friends or coworkers. Playing games with others has great health benefits and will create a sense of humor and laughter.