The best medicine

Indeed, without exaggeration, laughter is one of the most therapeutic, stress reducing and healing of processes. It is so beneficial to one’s hormones and immune system that people who possess a sense of humour and ability to laugh indiscriminately at life’s ironical situations and absurdities – and at themselves - usually have better health than sourpusses. Indeed, the sourpusses or “wet blankets” of the world fail to see fun and frolic, as they take themselves all too seriously and sardonically.

Yes, whether it is a shy smile or a deep belly laugh, laughter is so beneficial in our modern, stressed and tumultuous lives that one cannot imagine a world without it. It is, therefore, no wonder that since laughter is considered so important, the Reader’s Digest has named one of its sections on humour as: “Laughter, the Best Medicine.”

In what ways is laughter beneficial to us? It is useful physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is no secret that life is tough; it spews in one’s path trials and tribulations, problems and intransigencies. It takes a person with true sterling worth to face life’s problems astutely and strategically without losing heart along the way. A sense of humour and laughing heartily definitely does help, as when one laughs, one releases ‘feel good’ endorphins, very much like the way they are released when one does energetic, vigorous exercises. These endorphins help in defusing the tension, almost magically.

Laughter helps one emotionally and spiritually as it provides one with spiritually enervating sessions of inner healing. Laughter is like a spiritual tonic for one’s mind and psyche where one learns to introspect and get over negative emotions, like remorse, guilt, anger, jealousy and hatred.

For the successful person, a sense of humour and laughing out loud (or as computer buffs know, it is termed as `lol’) is truly important. Life can be serious, too, but all too often, life is coloured grey and what counts is what perception one takes. One can take the situation too seriously (as black) or take it humourously with a pinch of salt (as white). If one belongs to the latter category, one will probably accrue more benefits from life’s challenges.

Laughter cuts across barriers of race, religion, caste, place of birth and gender, and it is experienced by both the young and old. It is infectious and contagious, and many a time one can attempt to see the situation in a better light or vein and on seeing others laughing, one may effortlessly join the guffaws. It is true that since laughter is contagious, it brings along with it a special bonding so that the people who catch on to the trend feel lighter, happier and more capable of taking on life’s kaleidoscopic, colourful and myriad challenges. Have a nice day and keep laughing!

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