Lots of laughter, smiles keeps the doctor away

LAUGHTER is the best medicine. 

Those are the words of Christine Curnow and, considering she is leader of the Bendigo Laughter Club, she would know.

Speaking ahead of National Day of Happiness today, Ms Curnow said research proved laughter was directly linked to happiness. 

She said at club meetings group members learned to turn their laughter on and off.

"It is proven in research that laughter helps with releasing happy endorphins," she said.  

"You can actually trick your brain into being happy.

"With adults and the everyday world we are (constantly) worried and if someone says, 'laugh' you have to think to laugh.

"We are teaching our brains to be happy, we can turn it on and off."

Ms Curnow said people who laughed more were happier and more content with their lives. 

"They are saying it is good to laugh on your own," she said. 

"But when you are with a group, whether it is a big group or little group, (the experts) are saying that is better.

"There are many benefits that come from laughing with others."

International Day of Happiness was started by the United Nations after the general assembly recognised happiness as a fundamental human right. 

A survey conducted by online experience retailer Red Balloon found the activities that are most likely to put a smile on people's dials include spending time with family and friends. 

It found the happiest time of the day is between 6pm to 8pm while the happiest age group is 60 to 64. 

The Bendigo Laughter Club meets every Saturday from 8.30am to 9am at Ewing Park. 

It is free and anyone is welcome to come along. 

The Bendigo Advertiser will regularly update a happiness blog on its website tomorrow and wants your input.  

Send your happiness photos to cos@bendigoadvertiser.com.au or use the hashtag #bgohappy for Twitter and Instagram. 

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