• Cassandra Martin-Himmons

6 Ways To Improve Your Health With Laughter


Picture of smiling dog in a dress
My laughing smiling friend

Have you ever heard the phase that “laughter is the best medicine?” Well it’s absolutely true.


Laughter can be super infectious. When you hear someone else laughing, is so-o-o hard to not laugh yourself. And when there’s a group of people laughing together, that’s when the magic begins. When laughter is shared among others, it connects people and enhances both the relationship and the happiness of those in the group.


It’s well known that laughter triggers changes in the body and in the mind that make both stronger and healthier. Laughter can increase your energy level, lessen pain, strengthen the immune system, and help you manage your stress before your stress manages you. Laughter is the best medicine and I believe that’s because it’s free, fun, and easy. Read on for 6 ways that laughter can improve your health and some tips for getting more laughter into your life.


Laughter Is Strong Medicine


As medicine, laughter can be an antidote to conflict, pain and of course, stress. Nothing else works as quickly to bring your body and mind into balance than laughter. You can use humor, fun and laughter to lighten your burdens, enhance your relationships with others, give you hope (laugh instead of cry) and help keep you focused, alert, and grounded.


Now that you know that you have this ability to renew your health, you can use laughter as a renewable resource of strength to help you cope with your problems. As it supports your emotional and physical health and wellbeing.


How Does Laughter Enhance Your Health?



Smiling laughing Buddha statue
Buddha Laughs


Laughter does so many things for your health. Including:


  • Strengthening the immune system. When you laugh, it decreases the level of stress hormones inside of your body and increases the number of immune cells and antibodies you have, which helps you become more resistant to disease.

  • Relaxing you. A deep belly laugh allows you to release any physical tension inside of your muscles. So much so that your muscles can actually be relaxed for up to 45 minutes (!) after laughing.

  • Releasing Endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s feel-good hormones. When you laugh, your endorphins are released, and you feel a sense of well-being and joy. The endorphin release also leads to a reduction to the sensation of pain.

  • Is heart healthy. When you laugh, your blood flow increases which facilitates the ability of your blood vessels to nourish all parts of the body. Which in turn helps to prevent heart attacks and other types of heart diseases.


Overall Laughter Benefits


As I stated earlier, laughter gives you so many physical, emotional and social benefits. Laugh as much as you can because when you do, the laughter will:


  • Decrease your stress levels

  • Increase your immunity

  • Relax your muscles

  • Protect your heart

  • Lessen pain

  • Lessen fear and anxiety

  • Relieve stress

  • Add joy to your life

  • Enhance your mood

  • Improve your resilience

  • Attract other people to you

  • Promote group bonding

  • Improve teamwork

  • Strengthen relationships


Laughter And Your Emotional Health


As you know, laughter makes you feel good. And that feeling sticks around even when you’re finished laughing. With the optimistic, positive outlook that laughter provides, you’re given the ability to get through difficult situations including loss and disappointment.


Laughter is more than just a protection against pain and sadness; laughter helps you stay on an even keel. When you find yourself going through difficult of times, laughter or even a smile can help you feel better. 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 also associated with better mental health. It does this by:


  • Allowing you to relax. Feeling stressed out? Go ahead and have a good laugh. It’s gonna lessen your stress and increase your energy levels so that you can remain focused and get things done.

  • Lessening distress. It’s hard to feel sad, anxious, or angry when you’re laughing.

  • Shifting your perspective. Laughter 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 because you trigger positive emotions in both you and those you’re laughing with which creates and/or deepens the emotional connection between you.


The positive bond develops can act as a buffer against disappointment, disagreements, and stress. Laugh with others is more powerful than laughing by yourself.


How To Create More Opportunities To Laugh


There’re many things you can do to increase the laughter in your life. Here are some to consider trying:


  • Attend a comedy club

  • Watch something funny on television

  • Watch videos of funny animals (there are tons on YouTube – you can just add the term “funny animals” into the YouTube search bar)

  • Read the comics in the newspaper or online

  • Spend time with people who are funny

  • Share a funny story or joke with another person

  • Read a funny book

  • Host 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

  • Consider laughter yoga


Laughter can do a lot to help you feel better on a physical, emotional, and cognitive level. Don’t be afraid to make time to share a good laugh with others for all around better health.

Let’s talk, what do you do when you want to have a laugh? Let me know in the comments section.


Laughing Budda Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash

#laughter #stressrelief #stressmanagement #wellness

 

Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In

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