Alexia Parks

Feb 20, 2019

3 min read
Photo by David Calderón on Unsplash

I Hope That Laughter Is The Best Medicine Because That’s All I Can Afford!

I saw this bumper sticker humor on the back of a car and it made me laugh. Why? Because it’s true.

Research shows that children under the age of five are like little laughing boxes. They laugh up to 300 times a day. They spill something and they laugh. They drop something and they find that funny. They fall down and laugh.

Most Adults Only Laugh 10 to 12 Times a Day

It turns out that most adults rarely laugh, and when they do it’s often behind an upraised hand. What has happened to us between the age of five and 18? Here’s one answer from a new study by Pew Research Center, highlighted by this visual on Axios. Stress has now reached epidemic levels. Stress that leads to anxiety is now a bigger concern for teens, says this report, than drugs or poverty.

When we remember back on our childhood, how many of us have been told “That’s not funny!” or “That’s not a laughing matter!” when we’re about to fall out of a chair with laughter. Or, “Shhhh, no talking (or laughing) in here.” Our response has been conditioned over a lifetime.

One of The Fastest Ways to Reduce Stress Is To Get Up. Get Moving.

The new field of sedentary medicine reminds that “sitting is the new smoking.” How many teens are sedentary most of the day? How many schools lack daily outdoor exercise programs or physical education? How many adults have a day job that keeps them sitting at a desk all day long?

Stress that isn’t managed in the moment can lead to anxiexty and depression. Three quick actions you can take to break the cycle of stress include:

  1. Aerobic activity. It only takes 5-minutes of aerobic level movement every 45-minutes during the school or workday to help you break free of stress.
  2. Massage. Placing your hands on your neck and massaging your neck for even a minute, gives you a burst of feel good energy.
  3. 300 Chemicals. Here’s what happens when you smile or break into a hearty laughter which shakes your whole body. A smile will instantly flood your body with 300 positive chemicals to uplift your mood. Laughter that shakes your entire body also exercises your GUT.

Did you know that your GUT is a muscle? Fiber rich foods will exercise your gut and so can laughter.

Whatever Lifts the Corners of Your Mouth, Trust This. ~ RUMI

This is how my father turned laughter into a daily habit. He took a 15-minute walk on the same path, at the same time, every day. At a certain point on his walk, he would pass a large boulder. As he passed it, he would begin to laugh a hearty laugh, like a belly laugh. One moment we might be engaged in a conversation and the next minute, out of the blue, he would break into hearty laughter, and he wouldn’t stop. Then, at another point 100 steps farther along as he walked past a certain tree, his laughter would immediately stop. There was sound, and then silence. Anyone who walked this path with him would instantly break into laughter, when he began to laugh. I know I did.

And often my laughter didn’t stop when he stopped laughing, because to me, at the time, because simply watching him laugh was also funny!

Futurist, Award-Winning Social Impact Entrepreneur CEO ZipHomeChef.com | Chair, 10TRAITS.org | Speaker; UN Mentor; Author; Wikipedia

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