Some say that laughter is the best medicine and, although traditional medicine doesn’t really agree with this saying, laughing your heart out has a few benefits for each and every one of us. You may have heard about depression and its causes, so you may want to keep reading this article. First of all, the key to being more optimistic is to laugh as much as you can and to be open-minded about all kinds of activities. Recent studies proved that laughter has the following effects:
- It relaxes your entire body – yes, you heard that right! Although it may seem like all your face muscles are tensing, the truth is that when you laugh your body enters a state of calmness that is believed to last up for 45 minutes.
- Laughing boosts your immune system – for those of you who weren’t aware of this, laughter can suppress the stress hormone and increase immune cell production.
- It triggers the release of endorphins, a series of chemicals responsible for that feeling-good state of mind. Also, endorphins can diminish the intensity of terrible pain.
- Laughing protects your heart – when you laugh, the blood vessels increase their function and your blood flows smoother, which means that you’ll be protected from heart attacks and several other cardiovascular diseases.
- Other beneficial effects: laughter improves your mood, adds joy and color to your life, and brings relief from stress. Nevertheless, laughing will help you socialize, bond with other people, strengthen your relationships, and so on, so don’t neglect its importance!
Laughing with others is always better than laughing alone
Even if watching a comedy alone has its benefits, telling jokes with your friends is way better. In a group, laughter becomes contagious and lasts much longer than when you laugh by yourself. We all need someone to cling to, even if only for a short time. Instead of spending your whole day indoors watching romantic comedies, try gathering your friends for a cooking experiment, for example. It doesn’t really matter if you are a master chef or not, the important thing is to have fun. Also, if you have an argument with someone at work and feel like they don’t know you very well, try including them in your group or inviting them over for a drink.
How to boost your optimism
There are several ways in which you could look at things from a different perspective and improve your life. Apart from laughing as much as you can, there are a few other things you could try:
- Take some time off from your worries. Seriously, just set the alarm clock to go off in two hours during which you will not think about deadlines, bills, and so on. Just go and have a haircut or a fancy manicure. Anything that makes you happy and keeps problems away.
- Don’t take anything for granted. If you think that working 8 hours a day is extremely hard, try thinking about those who are unemployed and can barely make a living or about those who have to work two jobs in order to afford school. Be grateful for everything you have in your life and for everyone who likes and appreciates you. Also, remember to give back some of the love you receive and try to make others happy as well.
- Avoid spending time with people who tell you that you are no good or who feel a constant need to complain about everything. You know what they say: misery loves company. We all need to be loved in order to bring out the best in us.
- Don’t be afraid to be silly. If you’re used to being very uptight all the time, you should change that. Just go with the flow, party with people, and don’t think that you’re going to look ridiculous. So what? You don’t want to be eighty and regret not having lived your life, do you?
- Take an example from kids. You may have lost your innocence a while ago, but there is no reason not to borrow some from your kids. Watch them play and try to join their game. Remember that this is a safe zone, where no one can judge you for being goofy, so just have fun!
- Adopt a cat or a dog. It’s well-known that having a pet around the house makes you more responsible and that it boosts your optimism since animals are an inextricable source of joy and happiness.
No matter how hard it is to get back on your feet and be pleased with the way you are, being optimistic is probably the best thing you could do. Remember: spend time with fun people, adopt a dog or a cat, and don’t be afraid to show some craziness every now and then! Good luck!