Hi everyone! Today we are focusing on how hugs and laughter destroy stress! Yes, that’s right destroy! Crush! Slay! ……… You get the point 😀
So throw those arms wide open and feel the stress melt away.
In one of my previous posts about reducing stress, I briefly mentioned the benefits of hugging and laughter to help reduce stress. They are such fun, easy, and powerful techniques that anyone can do just about anywhere.
I thought it would be nice to dive a little deeper and look at why they work and how we can actively start using them to reduce the negative effects of chronic stress.
Hug it out
Let’s start by talking about hugs. Have you ever noticed how a good hug will make you feel better?
It calms you and changes your entire outlook on the world and whatever it is that’s been upsetting or stressing you out.
Turns out there’s some science behind hugs and a reason we start to feel better.
There are measurable effects on your heart and on the stress-level of your brain activity when you hug and those benefits will ramp up significantly around the twenty second mark.
Now obviously your hug has to be consensual, I mean you can’t just go around throwing your arms around random people. However you could say to your nearest and dearest, ” I could really use a hug right now” and the chances are, they could too.
As an added bonus, when you hug, your body will release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone. It’s no wonder your whole outlook starts to change after a good hug.
Start to hug your loved ones or your favourite pet more often and when you do, try to hold the hug for at least twenty seconds.
Laughing To Reduce Stress
When hugging isn’t an option, or if you don’t enjoy them, give laughing a try.
You just can’t beat a good belly laugh!
It relieves tension and reduces stress. As an added benefit, you’re drawing more air into your lungs, resulting in more oxygen being delivered to your heart, brain, and other important organs. Laughing often can even improve your immune system.
Put on a funny movie, watch a TV sitcom, read some funny jokes, watch a cartoons, call a friend who makes you laugh, or just start laughing and fake it until you start to feel it.
One of my personal fav’s is to read some of the humour cards in the greeting card shop. I often pop in if I’m walking past and just have a good 10 minute giggle to myself.
Laughter, it turns out, really is great medicine and great for both body and mind.
The human race has one effective weapon, and that is laughter.Mark Twain
Fun fact for you. There’s even an entire sub niche of yoga practitioners who do laughter yoga as a stress busting technique.
Can you see yourself taking a class where you go through various yoga exercises while also making a conscious effort to laugh out loud?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you have tried laughter yoga or anything else we have talked about today!
Sign up for the Gardening Love email to keep up to date with all the latest news.