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Laughter, smiles and their place in healing

By Denise Elliot

Life can run a smoother path when we indulge in generous amounts of laughter and smiles.

For centuries laughter has been held in high esteem, from jesters to present day comedians. Charlie Chaplin wrote that “Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain”.

Laughter is an extension of joyful positive emotions, it is an expression of pleasure which gives a renewed vigour for life. Laughter calms, relaxes and deeply de-stresses. A sense of humour and a ready laugh are more healing to the body and mind that any medication will ever be. When we laugh our perception shifts, we release feelings of judgement, blame and self pity, bringing a better understanding of ourselves and others. It brings a response from the universe with an uplifting feeling.

Smiles and laughter are giving activities – as you tend to share it – giving and caring for others increases our sense of well being and lends meaning and purpose to life. A common cause of deep stress is the belief that we have no use in life. Giving, may correct this imbalance for us. Each of us are healers in the sense that we can, if we choose, positively affect others with loving, unconditional energy. Passing on a smile, or sharing laughter is merely giving love and warmth to that person and ourselves.

Laughter and smiles have deep effects on body systems. Laughter gets more oxygen into the lungs and deepens respirations, increases circulation, speeds tissue healing, improves stamina and concentration, stimulates the body’s hormonal system, increases white blood cells, and generally supports every system. A great anti-ager - Why would we not want to do it?

As the saying goes – “When you smile the whole world smiles with you”.