Personal

Why Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Written by Allanah Hunt

How wonderful it is to laugh. It’s infectious.

When laughter is shared it bonds people together and creates intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body, It helps to strengthen your immune system, boost energy, diminish pain and protect against the harmful effects of stress, and it’s free!

Laughter is one of the fastest ways to bring balance back to your body and mind. It lightens your burdens, brings hope and keeps you grounded, focused and alert.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins in the body which makes you feel good. Humour helps you keep an optimistic attitude even through disappointments, loss and grief. More importantly it gives us the courage and strength to find new meaning and hope for the future. Even in the most difficult times, a laugh or even a smile will lift your mood. Laughter helps you be more spontaneous, and it lets you forget judgements, criticism and doubt. Your inhibitions are also reduced when you laugh giving you the chance to connect with the real you.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Laughter really does help to heal your body and mind. The flow of lymph fluid is increased by the simple convulsions that occur when we laugh. This boosts immune system functionality and cleans out old dead and waste products from your organs. As you laugh you take in big gasps of air causing the oxygen levels in your blood to rise. This ensures all the organs in your body receive rich, oxygenated blood to repair tissue and provide healing. Studies have shown that cancer cells are destroyed in the presence of oxygen, as are certain parasites and bacteria.

Therefore increasing the levels of oxygen in the body can help with both the healing and prevention of various diseases.

Laughing boosts circulation due to the very fact that as you laugh, you are exercising your abdominal muscles, the muscles in your face and enhancing flexibility throughout the body. The harder you laugh, the greater this effect.

The skin is the biggest organ in your body and in times of stress our faces can look drawn and tired. Increasing the flow of oxygen to our skin will improve the colour, reduce wrinkles and improve the overall texture. Add to this the sparkle your eyes will have as you add joy to your life, and you will look and feel more attractive.

Serotonin is essential for balancing brain chemistry. It aids in fighting depression, compulsive and obsessive thinking and reduces the harmful effects of stress on the body. Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain, however, in times of stress and grief the body’s ability to produce it can be severely reduced. Sunshine and laughter can aid the body in producing this chemical naturally thereby improving your mood and overall mindset.

Health Benefits of Laughter

  • Boosts Immunity
  • Lowers Stress Hormones
  • Decreases Pain
  • Relaxes Muscles
  • Prevents Heart Disease
  • Eases Anxiety and Fear
  • Relieves Stress
  • Enhances Resilience
  • Attracts People to Us
  • Helps Diffuse Conflict
  • Enhances Teamwork

Due to the significant difference healthy brain chemistry can make to your life, adding laughter on a daily basis makes a lot of sense. You can build laughter and joy into your everyday life in the same way you would add exercise. Easy ways to add joy include the following:

  • Watch a funny movie or television show
  • Share a good joke or funny story
  • Host a game night with friends
  • Play with a pet
  • Do something silly
  • Play with children
  • Seek out funny people
  • Do a fun activity (bowling, mine-golf, karaoke)
  • Go to a ‘laughter yoga’ class
  • Check out your bookstore humour section

When we are struggling with major adjustments we can take life much too seriously. Lighten your mood by adding some fun into your day. Choose to find the funny side of a situation.

 

  • Share your embarrassing moments and don’t take yourself so seriously
  • Look for the humour, the irony and absurdity of life in a bad situation
  • Keep a toy on your desk, a photo of you having fun or a funny poster in your office
  • Pay attention to children and emulate them

The ability to laugh, have fun and play with others not only makes life more enjoyable but it also makes you more creative helping you solve problems and connect with other people in your life. Life brings challenges which can either ‘get the best of you’ or which you can use to become ‘the best you can be’. When you become the problem and take yourself too seriously, it can be hard to think outside the box and find new solutions. When children are confused or afraid they make their problems into a game and thereby have the ability to step back and find creative solutions. We can learn a lot from the way children view life.

About the author

Allanah Hunt

Allanah Hunt is an author and founder of Power And Freedom where she works to encourage people to reclaim their personal power and create a life of freedom and joy. Your past does not dictate your future unless you allow it to!

“It is only as you take responsibility for your life that you discover just how powerful you truly are” - Allanah Hunt

2 Comments

  • Allanah,

    I love this thorough and informative post. I have written a couple on the health and brain benefits of laughter. Even just smiling has its advantages.

    Plus, they both feel pretty awesome too. Win/win! 🙂

  • I love learning all this about laughter, especially about how it can bring more oxygen into our body and help do away with some of the “badies.” I especially resonate with this has I’m going through a challenging time right now: “When we are struggling with major adjustments we can take life much too seriously.” I could definitely bring in some laughter to lighten things up more!

Leave a Comment