“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old,
you grow old because you stop laughing.”
For many women, menopause with its myriad of debilitating symptoms is not a laughing matter. But there’s a growing body of medical evidence to support comedian George Burns’s theory that laughter is the best “youth serum” there is.
According to several reliable authorities, including Cancer Treatment Centres of America and the Mayo Clinic in the USA, as well as Dr. Robert Holden, founder of the Laughter Clinic and Happiness Project in the UK, laughter has a positive, life-enhancing effect on your overall health, wellness, and your physical appearance.
Menopause often coincides with a number of stressful events in life, such as having to take care of elderly parents, impending retirement, children getting married and moving away from home, and a growing awareness of the physical changes that come with age. Any one of these life events can increase your level of stress.
When you add menopause to the equation, it’s all too easy to lose your sense of humour. However making the effort to lighten up and exercise your sense of humour has many benefits. In addition to being a natural medicine that can positively impact your overall health and well-being, laughter lifts your spirits, makes you happy, and helps you feel more alive, attractive and empowered.
Here are just a few of the benefits that derive from exercising your sense of humour on a daily basis during menopause:
- Laughter relaxes your entire body, thereby relieving physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes afterwards.
- It boosts your energy.
- It improves your resistance to disease. Laughing decreases stress hormones, which in turn helps boost your immune system and improve your body’s ability to resist illness and ageing.
- It’s good for your heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
- Laughter eases digestion, soothes stomach aches and helps lower blood sugar levels
- A good laugh helps you forget your problems and worries
- Laughter strengthens social bonds and relationships by binding people together and increasing intimacy and happiness
- It releases endorphins; the body’s feel good hormones. The better you feel, the less likely you are to get stressed. Endorphins have also been shown to relieve pain and increase your overall sense of well-being
If you’re struggling to find the funny side of life, then it’s worth spending time with funny people who make you laugh, or turning on the TV and watch a comedy show. On the days when you just can’t see the funny side of life, fake it!
That’s right. Smile!
It might feel odd to start with, but smiling or forcing a laugh will trick your brain into thinking you’re happy, causing it to release the same “feel good” hormones as if you were smiling naturally. If no one is around, try smiling at yourself in a mirror or pulling funny faces for a few moments. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will find yourself feeling calmer and happier. Your menopausal symptoms will ease, your eyes will light up, your skin will glow, and you will look and feel fabulous.