This piece considers what Nigerians especially those who live in major cities go through. Issues like bad roads, coupled with large number of vehicles leading to excruciating traffic and long hours on the roads. Going to and coming back from work or embarking on visits have become harrowing. The rains have not helped matters at all. For those who live in Lagos suburbs and even the metrolpolis (which we chose to make a case study of), the effect is: stress, stress and more stress! You are looking for drugs to arrest stress because you probably do not know that laughter is one of the best remedies for a stressful life.
When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered. Here’s why.
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:
How Does Laughter Relieve Stress?
Laughter stimulates blood circulation and eases digestive processes, according to the Mayo Clinic (see Resources below). Better circulation relieves physical distress, thus easing the related physical stress. It is also thought that laughter produces natural painkillers in the body, which helps to ease pain and further reduce physical stress. It is also known that negative thoughts have a negative impact on the body and can create chemical reactions leading to adverse conditions, such as high blood pressure. Laughing causes quite the opposite to happen. Laughing causes positive thoughts to abound which in turn produce neuropeptides, which fight stress in the body.
When one laughs about a particular incident, one just feels better because it puts the issue in a different light and shows other areas of the problem. People who laugh regularly and have a healthy sense of humor do not take themselves or their life situations too seriously and this eases mental stress. Finding something humorous in any situation makes the problem more bearable and relieves some of the stress associated with the unresolved challenge. Laughter causes one to breathe in more oxygen, which in turn makes the body function better leading to stress relief.
Put Laughter to Use
As soon as you find yourself laughing regularly, you notice changes to your body. The body becomes less tense. The face becomes less tight. You take in breath and heave it out in a laughing fit. For a moment, your mind is devoid of thought–good or bad. This is how laughter works to relieve stress. It is highly recommended to make time to laugh every day.
The Benefits of Laughter
Physical Health Benefits:
• Boosts immunity
• Lowers stress hormones
• Decreases pain
• Relaxes your muscles
• Prevents heart disease Mental Health Benefits:
• Adds joy and zest to life
• Eases anxiety and fear
• Relieves stress
• Improves mood
• Enhances resilience Social Benefits:
• Strengthens relationships
• Attracts others to us
• Enhances teamwork
• Helps defuse conflict
• Promotes group bonding