Laughter is good for your health Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the bodys natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the 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. One essential characteristic that helps us laugh is not taking ourselves too seriously. Weve all known the classic tight-jawed sourpuss who takes everything with deathly seriousness and never laughs at anything. No fun there! Some events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life dont carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary lifegiving you the choice to laugh or not. Ways to help yourself see the lighter side of life: Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is talk about times when we took ourselves too seriously. Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor in a bad situation, the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you. Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun. Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond our controlparticularly the behavior of other people. While you might think taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable, in the long run its unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and even egotistical. Deal with your stress. Stress is a major impediment to humor and laughter. Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.