For a long time it has been known that optimists live longer than pessimists – but now research suggests that a good laugh can help you to live longer too.
So along with the broccoli and bananas, maybe you should add a joke book to your basket next time you're in the supermarket, evidence shows that people with a better sense of humour also have healthier as well as longer lives.
A good laugh reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins into the body that make you feel good physically as well as mentally. Most people also find laughter contagious – so if you laugh more its highly likely that those around you will too, this way you make better connections with people and improve your social interactions.
Think of ways to add laughter to your life
- build up a library of comedy dvds that you find funny- and make a point to watch something funny at least a couple of times a week
- play and be silly with small children – they know how to have fun, laughing up to 300 times a day – compared to an adults fifteen
- play fun games – charades is for life not just for Christmas
- search http://www.youtube.com/ for funny clips of laughing babies, funny animals and children (see one of my favourites “Charlie bit my finger”) Add clips of your favourite stand up comedians. Save the best ones in your favourites to go back to when you need a chuckle
- Read joke websites - and don’t forget to check out “funny exam answers” and “funny insurance claims”
- Try to find the funny side of things that happen to you – there are always crazy or just plain stupid things happening all around us, instead of letting these things annoy you, try to appreciate the humour, laugh them off and live longer in the process.
- Laughter Yoga created by Indian Doctor Madan Kataria is now practised around the world and World Laughter Day will be celebrated in over 60 countries on 1st May 2011 “Sending a big joyful hug of laughter around the world” see http://www.laughternetwork.co.uk/index.html
“Remember, You don’t stop laughing because you get old ...you get old because you stop laughing”