A while ago, I discovered that there is a little known vitamin that we can’t live without – Vitamin L (check out this prior post) where the “L” stands for love.
It’s true, without love from our partners, family, friends, pets, neighbours, and community…where would we be?
But there is another Vitamin “L” on the block and I think it’s just as essential as Love and it’s called Vitamin L(aughter). Call me a cheese ball if you want (I’ve been called worse) but there’s something to laughing that makes us feel awesome.
At a very basic level, laughter helps to relieve stress and since stress lowers the immune system – I would consider laughter and immune booster. There is a whole field of medicine called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) which looks at the relationship between the way we think, and the way our body responds. Research on this topic has exploded as scientists look to better understand the connection between our nervous system and the ways in which we deal with stress and our immune system – the findings thus far have been pretty extraordinary.
There was an interesting experiment conducted by scientists at the Rochester University Medical School in which rats were given a sweet drink of water at the same time as an injection of a drug that lowered the response of their immune system. As expected, the immune system function of the rats decreased. However, when the rats were then given just the sweet drink, their immune system was compromised which can be explained by the fact there was a learned and conditioned response that caused the immune system to react in a certain way. What is fascinating about this is that it shows that thoughts and beliefs can actually change the way our immune system responds for better or worse.
This brings me back to Vitamin Laughter – lets’ call it Vitamin L2. If we know that stress reduces our immune function and that laughter decreases stress…wouldn’t Vitamin L2 help prevent immune system lowering in times of stress? I’m not a scientist, but in my own (albeit poorly designed study) Vitamin L2 makes me feel better in times of stress. Why not self-prescribe Vitamin L2 each day?
Vitamin L2 also apparently helps to increase blood flow and improves relaxation and sleep. With that in mind, here are some tidbits that no matter how many times I’ve seen them…always provide much-needed Vitamin L2.
THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)
“Laugh. Laugh as much as you can. Laugh until you cry. Cry until you laugh. Keep doing it even if people are passing you on the street saying, “I can’t tell if that person is laughing or crying, but either way they seem crazy, let’s walk faster.” Emote. It’s okay. It shows you are thinking and feeling.”
– Ellen Degeneres
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