In her book Feed Your Brain for Memory Sandy Baumann, M.S writes: “Oxygen is the most important requirement for brain function.” She says that “the brain uses oxygen to burn glucose for fuel in much the same way that a car burns gasoline with oxygen for power.” Laughter promotes deeper breathing which increases our oxygen level causing our brains to send positive feel good messages throughout our bodies allowing us to be more relaxed and less stressed.
Baumann also says that “oxygen gets to the brain by the action of the heart and the lungs.” Research has found that when we laugh we give our lungs, heart, diaphragm and abdominal muscles a great workout. “The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar,” says Steve Wilson, M.A., CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. He goes on to say that “Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate.”
Much like physical activity laughter helps increase the blood flow. Baumann talks about physical activity and how it helps improve memory and productivity. She describes how the blood pumps “through the heart to your brain and increased oxygenation in the lungs.” When we laugh – like walking, running or aerobics, we are increasing oxygen and circulation. Maybe this is why Dr. Miller from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore says it might be a good idea to incorporate laughter into our daily activities, just as we do with other heart-healthy activities, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Mort Walker said: “Seven days without laughter makes one weak.”
We all may have said, “I just don’t have time to workout today.” The good news is there is always time to laugh. You don’t have to leave your home or office to have a good laugh. All you have to do is watch, read or open yourself to something funny and start laughing. Do as Steve Martin said, “find a way to have a laugh at the things that are getting us down.” You’ll be not only be feeding your brain with much needed power you will also improve your attitude and be much nicer to be around.
Copyright Richard Paul 2009