“Laugher is the best medicine” is not just an old adage. Laughter is a cathartic mood lifter that is a necessary part of our physical and emotional life. When shared, laughter binds people together and increases both happiness and intimacy. Physically, laughter reduces the damaging effects of stress, strengthens the immune system, boosts energy, and diminishes pain. Greater connection to others, along with a more relaxed physical and emotional body, allows for a more positive state of mind. Living day to day in a more positive state of mind only increases the chances for overall happiness.
The stress of everyday life has the potential to inhibit our happiness. Just a minute of laughter each day releases the muscular tightness related to tension and stress for up to 45 minutes while also reducing the productions of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and triggering the release of the body’s feel-good chemicals, endorphins. This release of muscular tension, reduction of stress hormones, and increase in endorphins promotes an overall sense of wellbeing. What an incredible benefit for a minute of laughter!
The benefits of allowing laughter into your life several times each day are even more profound. Laughter increases the production of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease and boosting your immune system. Laughter even protects the heart by improving the function of blood cells and increasing blood flow, which can help protect against a heart attack and other potential cardiovascular problems.
Prescribe yourself laughter for a more relaxed and therefore balanced mind and body, and reap the benefits today!
- Start with a smile. Force a smile three times during the day when you would not ordinarily smile. Try smiling in the car, on the bus or subway on your way to work, at the 4:00 p.m. lull in the day, or at a boring meeting. You will be surprised by how many people smile back!
- Fake it ’til you make it. Force laughter three times a day. The body processes fake laughter as real laughter, giving you all the same health benefits! In the process you can also win points with your boss, boyfriend, or husband when you fake laugh at their bad jokes.
- Make time to laugh. Funny friends, television shows, movies, or books are a great way to add more laughter into your life. Commit to regularly meeting a friend who makes you laugh, select a funny book for your next read, and/or choose a night to devote to funny television shows or movies. The more regularly you can schedule a good laugh or just a smile, the better!