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There's a strong logic behind the famous proverb 'Laughter is the Best Medicine'. Scientific research has proven the benefits of a hearty laugh, be it psychological, physical or emotional. In yogic practice as well, laughter therapy or 'hasayog' is considered to be an important component of healing, and not without sufficient reasons. Here is a lowdown on why you should bring in more humour and laughter in your lives:

1. Laughter kills pain
Laughter helps in alleviating pain by releasing endorphins into the blood stream which function as pain killers. It thus helps in strengthening the immune system and fight disease better.

2. It effectively busts stress and depression
Laughter is one of the best anti-depressants. Every time we laugh, the production of serotonin in the body gets boosted, thus helping in combating stress and providing us with a sense of well being.

3. It increases stamina and promotes good health
Laughing increases the supply of oxygen and blood to various parts of the body. This enhances stamina and provides a massage to the digestive tract and various organs such as the liver, pancreas, kidneys and adrenal glands.

4. Laughter provides a workout
Physically speaking, laughing out loud exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed. Laughing 100 times is equivalent to 15 minutes of exercise on a bike!

5. Laughter promotes optimism
The psychological benefits of laughing are also rather unparalleled. Studies say that people who laugh more live a longer life than others. Laughter curbs stress and thus helps in bringing in a positive outlook and dealing better with challenges and problems.

Apart from this, laughter adds a beautiful glow to your face. Every time you laugh, you exercise all the muscles in your face, providing it with a short and effective workout. It also nourishes the lachrymal (tear) glands in your eyes, the true source of that sparkle in your eyes. So go ahead and laugh to look charming. Steal hearts with your lovely laughter!



If you are an animal lover, chances are that your blood pressure is under control. Evidence suggests that having pets around helps keep a lid on stress. Apparently, activities like playing with your pet and tending to it can prove a great tonic for hypertension. Even such mundane tasks like removing ticks from your dog or taking it for a walk can be soothing for some. As can the constant chattering of lovebirds in a cage. Or if you're a fish buff, watching them swim around, or cleaning their tank could prove relaxing.

Watch Out If You Are Stressed Out!

• Stress can wear down the part of the immune system that protects us from colds and other viruses.
• Long-term stress takes another kind of toll on the body, by slowing the time it takes for wounds to heal. The immune system that helps repair damaged tissue slows down in people who are under strain for a long time.

Stressed out, then watch out you might be arguing with your spouse for no reason. This will further dampen on your immune system, and may leave you vulnerable to illness. Stress not only makes you emotionally weak, even your physical health is at stake.

Meditation is an age-old practice, which can induce potentially beneficial changes such as lower blood pressure and reduced heart rate. Meditation is sometimes recommended to people with heart disease or other medical problems as well as to anybody who are trying to control emotional stress. It diverts the mind from the problems of daily life.

Meditation requires sitting or lying quietly, usually with the eyes closed, so that attention is withdrawn from the outside world and from customary activity. Some forms of meditation involve concentrating on breathing in and out and repeating a word or phrase called "mantra" aloud or silently. Meditation helps in controlling emotional stress, achieving stillness of mind, state of serenity and a kind of spiritual "high".

Quick Stress Reliefs

What's your immediate reaction to a stress? Do you get more stressed out? Do you run away from the task at hand? Here are a couple of quick stress reliefs:
• Take deep breaths, inhale over 16 counts and exhale over four, each with an alternate nostril. Do this for five to ten minutes
• Pray or meditate for ten minutes.

Massage for instant relief from day to day stress. A ten-minute neck and shoulder massage will revitalize you instantly. Do it yourself if no help is at hand, or get hold of a partner who will do it for you and vice versa!

Develop Hobbies To Stay Stress Free

Hobby is a leisure activity, a past time, which should be a total diversion from your daily routine. When choosing a hobby, many people make the mistake of taking up activities closely related to their office life: for example, a computer programmer may design video games in his free time. Taking up completely unrelated hobbies will divert your mind and reduce stress. If you are a number cruncher, try something creative like painting or music, or if your job is high tech, try gardening or bird watching. Hobby is not a commercial activity but it gives you peace of mind.
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