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Humour, the best medicine for your heart

10 Tips for a healthy heart – Live Great – Great Eastern Life

When we laugh, we change physiologically. Muscles throughout our face and body stretch. Our pulse and blood pressure go up, we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.

Can a laugh a day keep heart attack away? Possibly so.

Laughter, along with an active sense of humour, may actually help guard against a heart attack. Researchers don't already know for certain why, but they do know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium - the protective lining in our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that leads to fat and cholesterol build-up in the arteries, ultimately leading to a heart attack.

Stress, the modern disease
Stress comes in many forms and affects people of all ages from all walks of life. In today's age, stress is a prevalent root cause of many ailments, including heart disease. One does not have to be a working adult to experience stress, and a parent of a single child is not necessarily less stressed than a parent with several children.

Here are the common stress points:

  • physical health
  • quality of our interpersonal relationships
  • number of commitments and responsibilities
  • degree of others' dependence and expectations of us
  • amount of support we receive from others
  • traumatic events and changes that have recently occurred

People under stress also tend to engage in unhealthy behaviour, such as smoking and drinking. They also tend to make poorer nutritional choices than people with less stress. This, in turn, increases likelihood of stress in a vicious cycle of symptoms and unhealthy behaviour.

Live and learn to laugh
Humour is one of the best stress management techniques available. It is free, convenient, and bears many benefits. Here are some tips to add humour to your life:

T.V. and Movies are a great way to be entertained. Whether it is a TV programme at home, a rented DVD or that blockbuster movie, there is no shortage of laughter opportunities. Do moderate your time, and check reviews to ensure that what you are watching will be worth your time, as marginally entertaining shows can be frustrating instead. For best results, opt for comedies over dramas.

Remember, laughter is a positive distraction that turns the focus away from anger, guilt, stress, and other negative and destructive emotions.

Belly laughs are actually good internal workouts. It exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs, and even activates the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards. Even the heart benefits from a hearty laugh. So approach life in a mirthful manner - you will reduce your stress levels and have a fitter, healthier body.

Other benefits of laughing often includes better immune system response, regulated blood sugar levels (fights against diabetes), and provides many similar health benefits found in exercise. Positive psychology names the propensity for humour as a critical strength that one can possess.

So put some humour into your daily routine. Coupled with exercise, a low (saturated) fat diet, and abstinence from smoking, you can live a healthier and happier life!

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Great Eastern Holdings Ltd | The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited | Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd