Laughter is an infective phenomenon and among all the 84 lakh creations of God, only man is endowed with the faculty of laughter. In fact, man is the only animal that ‘laughs and weeps’.
Many laughter clubs have sprung up in Mumbai, where senior citizens gather in parks and bellow their guts out. Many people snigger at these practices, but laughter is definitely associated with good health.
- Studies by reputed Medical organizations have endorsed the value of laughter for positive health and in the control of neurosis.
- It is useful in helping release pent up emotions, resentment, anger, malice etc.
- Regular laughter before sleep has been seen to help insomniacs.
- Laughter has been useful increasing the Endorphins levels in the body and relieves pain in chronic sufferers of arthritis.
- It helps muscle relaxation.
- Promotes abdominal breathing and thus helps better oxygenation of the body.
- It helps in regulating stress by reducing the levels of cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline.
- Laughter increases the Immunity of the body by increasing the body’s natural killer cells, antibodies and immunoglobulins.
- Laughter has been seen to improve brain function, which has been studied by SPECT scanning.
The Perspective from Indian Spirituality:
The Vedic view is that every person is made up of five sheaths, which cover the soul and they are;
- The Annamaya Kosha, which corresponds to the gross body and this, is nourished by nutritious and moderate food.
- The Pranaymana Kosha, which corresponds to the breath and it, is sustained by deep breathing.
- The Manomaya Kosha, which corresponds to the mind and its thoughts. This sheath is affected with negativity and has to be nourished with proper thoughts, pranayama and mind control exercises.
- The Vignayamaya Kosha, which corresponds to the Intellect and is sustained by knowledge.
- The Anandamaya Kosha, which is a sheath of joy and aspirants on the yogic path are extorted to discover this sheath and sustain this state.
It is believed that the purpose of existence is for joy and all Indian Spiritual masters encourage laughter and positive thoughts and extort the neophytes to dump their sorrows and negativity into the graveyard, before plunging into a Spiritual way of life.
Studies at Stanford University by Dr. William Fry have revealed that laughing 100 times a day is as good as jogging or exercising briskly for ten minutes.
It is not yet very clear, as to how laughter helps the body. But as we grow older we laugh less. A 6-year old child laughs about 250 to 300 times a day and an average adult laughs about 40 times per day and the serious and glum persons laugh less than 5 times a day.