I love to laugh and it is definitely more fun if you laugh with me!
You may have noticed that laughter can bond people together – due to the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone. Research has also shown that laughter may improve immune function and reduce pain as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Laughter can serve as a cardiovascular exercise, if it sustained for at least 15 minutes.
Some people say that laughter is like internal jogging! Laughter exercises can be done seated, standing or lying down. I have my patients laugh with me while standing up if I want to challenge their automatic balance reactions. If your balance is off, you can laugh sitting down or lying down.
I have found laughter exercises to be a joy to share with my patients, especially people who use wheelchairs to get around since they can fully participate in laughing with me.
It important to always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, even if it’s laughter exercises.
You may enjoy laughing with me while watching this silly video that I made for us to enjoy together.
I have seen some major breakthroughs in recovering from illness and restoring the patient – caregiver harmony once laughter was introduced.
In fact, even patients with dementia who can imitate me while I am laughing can get the benefits of laughter. I’ve had many caregivers tell me that patients with dementia laughed spontaneously more often throughout the day and were generally more pleasant to work with after performing regular laughter exercises with me.
Laughter is the outward expression of joy, and the act of laughing has produced feelings of joy and relief for some of my most grumpy patients.
The most important aspect of laughing as an exercise is to be safe and take a rest break if you feel light-headed or out of breath. Everyone has different levels of physical fitness, so you must monitor yourself if you choose to laugh with me by watching this video.
Now let’s have some fun…
To learn more about researched benefits of laughter, I recommend visiting the Laughter Online University, created by the world-renowned Sebastien Gendry.