Posts Tagged ‘Stress’

Laughter is an Instant Stress Reliever

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

“Laughter is as tranquilizer with no side effects.” Arnold Glasow

Laughter is one of the body’s safety mechanisms. It helps us to counter balance our stress and tension. When we are stressed our body quickly increases a hormone called cortisol. Is cortisol bad for us? Doctors say that is an important hormone in the body, secreted by the adrenal glands. It helps with the several functions in the body.

1) Proper glucose metabolism
2) Regulation of blood pressure
3) Insulin release for blood sugar maintenance
4) Immune function
5) Inflammatory response

They say it is normally high in the morning and very low at night. But when we are stressed it changes the natural daily balance. Stress causes our body to goes into the fight or flight mode causing a quick serge or prolonged higher cortisol level. When this happens it can impair our cognitive performance, suppress our thyroid function, cause a blood sugar imbalance, decrease bone density, decrease muscle tissue, increase blood pressure, lower the immune system and can increase abdominal fat which can cause heart attack and stroke.
Laughter is one of the quickest ways to reduce stress. A good laugh adds a burst of oxygen that instantly helps relax the mind and decrease the cortisol to near normal levels. Studies have shown that laughter helps improve memory, lower blood pressure, balance blood sugar and increase the immune system. When you find yourself stressed out or feeling over whelmed that is the time you need to laugh.

I heard a story about a young model that was shot on a subway in New York near Time Square. She said at the hospital she was so frightened and panicked that it was her sense of humor and her ability to laugh that helped her cope with an extremely stressful situation. She also added that during recovery she spent most of her days watching the old TV sitcom “Friends.” She said the humor helped her work through the stress giving her energy to make it through the day. She also believed the chuckles helped with her healing process too.

Phyllis Diller said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

If your world seems like its upside down that is the time to escape with a good laugh.
It will not only lower the cortisol but ignite the healing power and energy within to make it through the storm. Remember what they say laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and even your cat will say, “hey I don’t need this!” Then she will leave you and look for a new owner who likes to laugh.

Copyright Richard Paul 2009

The Brain Loves a Good Laugh

Thursday, March 12th, 2009


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

Surviving Stress through Laughter

Friday, February 27th, 2009

By Motivational Speaker, Laughter Reduces Stress Expert,
Richard Paul

Bill Cosby once said, “If you can laugh at it, you can survive it.” Last August my father who is ninety years young, healthy and still living at home with my mom, who is 86, experienced a physical challenge. His sodium level had dropped and while in the hospital he had a mild heart attack. After a series of tests they found that he had major blockage in his arteries. In a nut shell we thought he was going to die.

After his cauterization he laid still on the bed calling each of the family members to his side saying that he loved us. Thinking he was dying he offered to give me his old Buick Riviera the car with customized front plate that read, “Touch of Class.” I quickly said, “No dad that car is yours.” But he insisted that he wanted to give me the car. He even wrote down all the legal information on a hospital note pad. “I will not take no for an answer the Riv. is yours,” he demanded.

Couple days later Dad made a dramatic turn around and within a week he was back home. Two days after he came home I was dealing with a few stressful situations. First and foremost my web site domain was lost. They were telling me that I didn’t renew it but I had records saying that I did. Because of the many phone calls to the domain register and the web host geeks I was running late for my early morning meeting with a client. As I was about to rush out the door my dad called on the house phone to wanting his car back. While talking to dad, my brother called on my cell phone to tell me not to give dad the car back. To make matters worse on my business line was my web host calling to say that they can’t help me with my domain problem. Needless to say I was stressed-out. I was so angry that I snapped at my dad and said, “You gave me the car and now you want it back?” He then played the poor unloved father card saying things like “you don’t love me?” I shouted back, Come get your car I have to go to my meeting!”

I looked at my watch and noticed that I was late. I threw my brief case in the car and was about to pull out when I felt the front tire go “thump.” I got out of the car and noticed that I had a flat tire, at this point I was panicking. After pacing back and forth and freaking out my wife reminded me of what I tell my audiences to do when they have to deal with things that are stressful and crazy. I instruct them laugh and you will begin to have a different perspective of the situation.” I forced out a chuckle then a giggle and a good HA Ha! In no time I could feel my muscles relax and my breathing coming back to normal.

When I arrived at the meeting site the clients was not upset that I was. A few days later I drove Dad’s car back and he was happy again and my brother’s tech. expertise help fix the domain problem.

Abraham Lincoln so gracefully wrote: “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.” When you are stressed laugh and you will begin to have a different perspective of the situation and in no time things will work out just fine.

Copyright Richard Paul 2009