We often hear the saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine.’ Laughter has many health benefits and it makes you feel happy. However, sometimes we forget to laugh. Life can seem so serious and we fail to see the light hearted, funny side to our daily life. We can be too busy to read the comics in the newspaper as we concentrate on all the serious stuff and the bad news. I saw a comedy at the cinema with a friend this evening and really enjoyed it. Sometimes there is nothing like a good laugh. Why is laughter good for us?
Laughter releases endorphins, the feel good hormones, lowers stress hormones, lowers blood pressure and boosts our immune system. It is encouraging news that having a laugh can do so many good things for our health. Laughing can also help us connect better with other people. Share an appropriate joke and the people around will join us in a good laugh.
If you are in pain you probably don’t feel like laughing. However, if you watch a comedy or someone cracks a joke your laughter will cause an increase in the body’s natural painkillers which will improve your tolerance to pain. Laughing also distracts you from the pain and any worrying thoughts about your condition.
Laughter can distract your thoughts away from negative emotions including anger, guilt, stress and that ‘why is this happening to me?’ feeling. Laughing acts to relax the muscles in the abdomen and shoulders and exercises the heart.
Here are some ways to get more laughter into your life.
Look around for things that are funny. Don’t take life too seriously.
Read comic strips in the daily paper.
Watch a comedy on television.
Go to the movies or hire a comedy DVD.
Watch your dog or cat. They are bound to do something funny sooner or later.
Spend time with people who make you laugh.
Learn to laugh at yourself in a friendly way. I don’t mean make fun of yourself.
Get hold of a book of jokes and memorise a couple to share with others.
Perhaps you could start the day at work by sharing a joke.
When you are having ‘one of those days’ think what it would look like if someone made the events into a sitcom. It may be frustrating you but try to see the humour in it.
Sharing a laugh with others brings you closer to them and helps relationships between family members. Laughter helps one get through the hard times and makes the good times even better. Comedian Bill Cosby said, ‘Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.’