Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression or seasonal depression is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.
Laughter is the best drug as a good laugh can make you feel better. Experts worldwide believe that by strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, stimulating the nervous system and boosting the immune system, laughter can be far more potent than many drugs.
In these times of ever-increasing pressure and workloads, it’s easy to see how the mind can become over-loaded and stressed. Laughter Yoga stimulates production of the happy hormone, serotonin and also generates more endorphins which put us on a natural high, reduces stress and helps us to take on a more positive perspective.
It has been proven that Laughter Yoga is great for heart health and helps to stimulate the whole cardiovascular system in a manner similar to exercise. It also stimulates the respiratory system as it forces us to take in more oxygen and expel more carbon dioxide, which makes our breathing deeper and helps us to calm down.
A participant from Sackville Hill Senior’s Recreation Centre said to me,
“I’d like to thank you for helping me to learn to laugh again. As I mentioned, I have been struggling with depression. The first week I had trouble remembering what it was like to laugh. Now, after several weeks, it has become easier to smile and laugh. I sincerely thank you for the positive difference you have made in my life”.
Practicing Laughter Yoga on a regular basis reduces anxiety, depression and stress which weakens the immune system, leaving us susceptible to infection. By producing endorphins and increasing the serotonin levels, laughter helps as a mood enhancer and makes people feel more joyful and relaxed.
Laughter Yoga is also great for exercising many of the muscles of the body. Research shows that a belly laugh can exercise the muscles of the scalp, neck, torso, shoulders, arms, abdomen and legs.
Natural Ways to Boost Serotonin Levels
- Diet: foods like chickpeas, nuts, seeds, tofu,cheese, red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs have higher levels of tryptophan than other foods and could be linked to improved mood and cognition, possibly due to increased serotonin levels.
- Mood: alterations in thought, either through psychotherapy or self-induction, could increase levels of serotonin if the interaction between serotonin synthesis and mood is a two-way relationship.
- Light: already used as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder, a few studies have suggested that it can be used to treat depression as well.
- Exercise: exercise has an antidepressant effect, and some research has suggested that it can increase brain serotonin function.
How Laughter Alleviates Depression
Stress is the number one killer today. Besides several external factors, decreased levels of serotonin in the body is a major reason for a person feeling worthless and depressed. As we read above there are many things that can boost serotonin, but laughter is one of the easiest ways to increase the levels and enhance the feeling of wellness. It is a natural relaxant and quickly reduces the levels of stress-related hormones, such as cortisol.
Laughter works as a mild anti-depressant as it releases “feel good” endorphins and serotonin, giving the body pain relieving effects and the mind a feeling of well-being, boosting optimism, and self-confidence.
“You can’t deny Laughter, when it comes, it plops down in your favourite chair and stays as long as it wants.”…..Stephen King
♥ ♥ ♥ With playful heart ♥ ♥ ♥