The best medicine…
Fri, 04/01/2016 - 12:00am Barbados1
Regina Selman Moore
“Laughter is the best medicine!”
Perhaps you have said this phrase jokingly while sharing a laugh with a loved one or a friend. However, there is more to this statement than meets the eye.
Researchers have taken it a step further by examining the effect of a number of emotions on the body, and it has been found that laughter does indeed have positive effects. You see, laughter suggests that we are joyful and happy, and the body registers that.
On the other hand, researchers have found that anger has some serious effects on the body and mind. It has been said that anger dramatically increases our stress hormones, aids in raising our blood pressure and makes our blood more likely to clot, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Author Joan Lunden sums it up with this quote, “Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.”
Choose laughter over anger
Author Dr. Randy Martin asserts, “There are two emotions that really have a big impact on your health: anger and laughter. Anger can have a very negative effect on your heart since anger is a tremendously negative emotion. The antidote? Laughter!”
“Laughter is probably the best emotion we have to counteract the stress in our lives today. By making time to laugh, you can tremendously impact your health in a positive way.”
Still not convinced? Well, consider that researchers studying the physiology of anger have found out the following:
Anger can raise your heart rate to 180 beats a minute and raise your blood pressure from 120 over 80 to 220 over 130 and even higher. Your breathing becomes rapid as you try to get more oxygen into the body, which tenses and your muscles also become tight. Anger also impedes circulation and uncontrollable anger can trigger a stroke, tight neck, tension headaches, and migraines and also cause insomnia. It can even slow your metabolism, causing acid reflux and gastric ulcers, as well as affect lung function.
Laughter minimises stress
It has been found however that laughter can minimise anger and stress on both the body and the brain. There is evidence to suggest that a good bout of laughter releases health protecting hormones and reduces the detrimental effects of stress hormones.
So the next time you get upset, consider that technically you are speeding up the ageing process and ultimately affecting your health if you hold on to that anger. While every situation in life will not be a laughing matter, I do believe that the aim here is to understand the value of our emotions and how they can actually affect us.This can help us to move our lives forward in a positive direction and improve our emotional well-being.