Laughter and other displays of positive emotions are essential secrets to our well-being. For great health, diet plays an important role. Yet that's not all there is to it. To achieve optimal health, you need a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, and a positive mood. This is where “Laughter is the best medicine” comes in.
Every fall I travel to the South of Europe to a nice warm village to stay in over the winter. Usually, it's a great time of the year. I enjoy planning and packing. But this particular year was stressful for me. It started the month previous, not knowing if we were going at all. Something was needed and fast. Then I remembered Laughter Therapy – after a few laughs I started to feel much better, I stayed stress-free and enjoyed planning, packing, and travel.
Laughter releases tension
Laughter is often infectious. When you hear the sound of laughter, you can’t help but laugh yourself. When giggles are shared among others, they create a bond between people. It increases both intimacy and happiness.
It is well known that smiles trigger healthy bodily changes and healthy changes in the mind. Laughter can increase your energy level, lessen pain, strengthen the immune system, and protect you from stress. Laughing is the best medicine because it is free, fun, and easy.
Laughter is strong medicine
Laughter can be a strong antidote to conflict, pain, and stress. There is nothing else that works more dependably or quicker to bring your body and mind into balance than laughter. The use of humor can lighten your burdens, connect you to others, inspire your hope, and keep you focused, alert, and grounded.
With this ability to renew your health and heal you, laughter can be a great resource for whatever problems you may have. It can also strengthen your relationships. It can support your emotional and physical health and well-being.
How are giggles good for your health?
Laughing can have many benefits for your health, including:
- an increase in the strength of your immune system. It can decrease the level of stress hormones within the body and increase the number of immune cells and antibodies you have, which will help you become more resistant to disease.
- helping to relax. A wonderful laugh can relieve you of stress and physical tension so that your muscles can be relaxed for up to 45 minutes following laughing.
- a release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s feel-good hormones. When your endogenous endorphins are released, you feel a sense of well-being and a reduction in the sensation of pain
- support for the heart. Laughing can increase the ability of the blood vessels to nourish all parts of the body. It can increase your blood flow, which can help prevent heart attacks and other types of heart diseases.
The benefits of being happy
Laughter is known to have many health benefits, including physical, emotional, and social benefits.
Some of these include the following:
• Decreases stress levels
• Increases immunity
• Relaxes muscles
• Protects the heart
• Lessens pain
• Lessens fear and anxiety
• Relieves stress
• Adds joy to your life
• Enhances mood
• Improves resilience
• Attracts other people to us
• Promotes the bonding among group members
• Improves teamwork
• Strengthens relationships
Happy emotions can help your emotional health
Having a good belly laugh simply makes a person feel good. This good feeling persists even when you are done laughing. Laughter helps you maintain an optimistic and positive outlook. Which means you can easier get through situations of loss, disappointments, and other difficult situations.
Laughing often is more than just protection against pain and sadness. It gives you the strength and courage to find other sources of hope and meaning. Even when you find yourself in the most difficult of times, laughter or even a smile can take you far when it comes to feeling better. Laughter really is a bit contagious. When you hear someone else laugh, it primes your brain and sets you up to join that person in laughing, too.
Laughter and mental health
Laughter is associated with better mental health. Some things laughter can do to improve your mental health include the following:
• Laughter allows you to relax. A good laugh can lessen stress and increase your energy levels so that you can remain focused and get more things accomplished.
• Laughter can lessen distress. It is hard to feel sad, anxious, or angry when you are instead laughing.
• Laughter shifts your perspective. It allows you to see things in a less threatening and more realistic light. Being humorous helps create a psychological distance between you and stressful events so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Laughter has social benefits
When you use humor and engage in playful communication with others, your relationships become stronger. You trigger positive emotions and an emotional connection with those you are laughing with. A positive bond develops—one that can act as a powerful buffer against disappointment, disagreements, and stress. When you laugh with others, this is a more powerful thing than when you laugh alone.
How to create more opportunities to laugh
There are things you can do to increase your chances of laughing. Here are some you might try:
• Attend a comedy club
• Watch something funny on television
• Watch videos of funny animals there are tons on YouTube, or just add the search term “funny into the YouTube search bar
• Read the comics in the newspaper
• Be with people who are funny
• Share a funny story or joke with another
• Read a funny book
• Sponsor a game night with your friends
• Play with your pet
• Play with children
• Do something you think is silly
• Engage in activities you consider fun
Laughter can do a lot to help you feel better on a physical, emotional, and cognitive level. Don’t be afraid to share a good laugh with others for overall better health.