HA! HA! HA! BHAHAHAHAHA!
Go ahead, let out a big HA! Right now.
Go ahead, nobody will care.
How do you feel? Maybe a sense of relief? Pushed out all that stale air from your lungs so you could take in more fresh air? You might have even felt your entire body relax a bit. Or maybe you even felt your heart rate increase, bringing fresh oxygenated blood to your limbs?
Laughing can do all this and more. It stimulates your body in a way that is similar to exercise, activating the ‘stress’ response in your body, just like exercise does, which results in a relaxed feeling afterwards. So no more excuses why you can’t exercise. You can still laugh and get some of the same benefits! During a good belly laugh, your organs are stimulated, happy hormones are released from your brain, and fresh oxygenated blood leaves you feeling relaxed, calm and happy. In short, the entire body is happy and smiling.
By releasing the stress we hold in our bodies, we are minimizing the burden on our organs and systems. In particular, the immune system. In an article found on mayoclinic.org,
“Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.”
So laughter is just another tool we can use to encourage the body to heal. It leaves the body in a relaxed (parasympathetic) nervous state otherwise known as the "rest and digest" state. When our bodies are relaxed, our gut is able to break down food, absorb nutrients and excrete toxins. But, when we are in that "fight or flight" state, activating the sympathetic nervous system, our bodies are focused on the danger at hand, whether that's a predator or stressful situation and forget about the digestion happening in the gut. We literally have bigger fish to fry.
When we are unable to completely break down food, conditions like "leaky gut" can occur. This is when that undigested food causes inflammation in the gut, allowing food particles to escape from the lining of the digestive tract. What happens next? The immune system has to kick in, sending white blood cells to the area, increasing inflammation even further. The immune system takes care of the undigested food and clears it from the body, but it takes a lot of energy to do this. This is a job meant for the acid and enzymes in the digestive tract.
There's yet another connection between the gut and the immune system. About 70-80% of our immune system is located in the gut! All those microbes and bacteria are hard at work getting rid of viruses and other harmful bacteria we ingest through our food. So when the gut is not happy and smiling you can bet the immune system feels the same way. And we all know the immune system is the gatekeeper against cancer. If the immune system can't do it's job efficiently, cancer can walk right in through the front door.
Laughter is just one more way you can support your body so it can function properly. In the world of holistic health and nutrition, we take everything into account and how it effects the body. Nothing happens in isolation. So let's support our bodies with nutrient dense foods, invigorate our minds with knowledge, and uplift our spirits with laughter that we can feel in our bellies.
If you couldn't produce a laugh for yourself earlier, here’s a few one-liners to get you going…
What’s Forrest Gump’s password?
So two snare drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff…
What does a nosy pepper do?
Feel better? Thought so. Keep it up, and find even more ways to laugh every single day! Share your own jokes below to spread the laughter! Follow us on social media for more one-liners releasing this week!
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