Laughter IS The Best Medicine

Post written by Warren. Follow him on Twitter.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Be Proud. Laugh Out Loud.

Have you laughed lately?

If not, get out of your serious self and loosen up.

Laughter is a powerful tool for combating stress and conflict.  It can dissipate anger, sadness and other negative emotions.  In addition to making you feel good, laughter can improve your health and make your relationships with others closer and stronger.  There are a wide variety of benefits to be gained by making daily laughter a priority.

Many studies have shown that laughter can boost your energy level and reduce stress.  These are just a few of the ways that laughter can improve your health:

  • Laughter is relaxing. A good session of laughing can relieve muscle tension and make you feel more relaxed.  This in turn can calm you and bring a general sense of well being.
  • Laughter can boost your immune system. Infection-fighting antibodies are released when you laugh.  Stress hormones are decreased as laughter reduces stress.
  • Laughter can reduce chronic pain. Medical studies have shown that 10 minutes of laughter can diminish chronic pain for up to 2 hours.
  • Laughter can improve your creativity. You can face challenges with more perspective with a good sense of humor.  This leads to more creative problem solving.

The physical benefits of laughter can lead to an improved outlook on life. Laughter can bring optimism and a more positive attitude.  It can also bring resiliency that will help you bounce back from disappointments and survive tough times.  Laughter will leave you feeling energized and renewed, ready to face life’s daily stresses without being overwhelmed.

Laughter is a contagious social activity. When people are in a group and they hear someone laughing, they often join in spontaneously.  Laughing with other people helps us to make a connection with them, opening the door to communication and creating a bond.  When two people in a relationship share a common sense of humor, it can reduce stress between them and defuse conflict.  By introducing more humor and playfulness into your relationships, you can strengthen them and make them more satisfying.

How can laughter help a relationship?

People who incorporate humor and playfulness into their relationships are able to drop some of their inhibitions and defensiveness.  This allows them to enjoy more spontaneity and a deeper emotional connection.  When laughter and humor are used to defuse conflict, negative emotions like resentment and anger don’t get a chance to build up.  In fact, laughter and a shared sense of humor are nothing less than essential for strong and healthy relationships.

Children laugh hundreds of times per day, but as adults we can sometimes go through an entire day without sharing a heartfelt laugh.  Maybe you’ve started taking life very seriously as you’ve gotten older, or maybe anxiety and stress have taken their toll on your ability to appreciate humor.  Or maybe you grew up in a household where humor and laughter weren’t encouraged.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t start now and learn how to make laughter an important part of your life.

Like all of life’s most important skills, humor can be learned and rediscovered.  I’m not suggesting that you start to act like a child again, but you can learn something about laughter and humor by setting aside time to develop your playful side.

Here are 10 activities that will help increase your ability
to laugh, play and have fun.

  1. Smile more often. A smile is the first step towards laughter and is equally contagious.  Make a conscious effort to smile more and laughter will follow.
  2. Spend more time with happy people. It’s easier to laugh and feel happy when you’re surrounded by people who know how to have fun.  Seek out friends who are playful and like to laugh.
  3. Use funny stories to lighten your mood. Pay attention to the funny stories that other people share and learn how to tell your own.  Appreciate the humor in daily experiences and share it with friends.
  4. Introduce humor when it’s appropriate. Lighten up conversations by introducing an element of humor.  Initiate conversations that are funny and playful.
  5. Enjoy inside jokes with friends. Sharing private jokes with another person brings you closer.  Bringing up a private joke is a good way to re-experience the humor of the moment.
  6. Seek out entertainment with humor. Watch comedy movies.  Rent some classic comedy films and enjoy them with friends.  Go to a comedy club.  Check out humorous books and comic strips.  The culture of comedy is infectious and will improve your sense of humor.
  7. Have a laugh at your own expense. When appropriate, share your embarrassing moments with others.  This can help you take yourself a little less seriously.
  8. Be playful and silly. Have a water fight, take part in some horseplay, indulge a case of the giggles.  It’s all part of lightening up.
  9. Play games with friends. Whether its board games or sports, keep the atmosphere low-key, fun and non-competitive.  Just play for the fun of it and have some laughs along the way.
  10. Spend time with children. We can learn a lot from their sense of play and laughter.  Put aside your “adult” thinking and try to see things through their eyes.

As you incorporate laughter into your life, you may find yourself becoming more creative.

When you know how to lighten up and take yourself less seriously, you become less worried about making mistakes.  Having a sense of playfulness allows you to explore various solutions to a problem.  When your state of mind is relaxed and open to possibility, new ideas have a chance to develop.  Daily laughter and a good sense of humor will help keep life interesting.

When you take time to bring more laughter into your life, you’ll see positive changes in many areas.  Life will become more enjoyable, and you’ll find it easier to connect with other people.  Your relationships will benefit as you bond with friends and loved ones through your sense of humor.

A few fun facts about laughter…

  • Laughing only 15 minutes a day can help you lose weight. Scientists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have discovered that a daily dose of laughter can burn up to five pounds of fat over a year. 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day.
  • Laughter is contagious. Researchers at University College London found that hearing laughter and other positive sounds triggers a response in the area of the brain that’s activated when we smile.
  • Laughter stimulates the body. A good hearty laugh stimulates your organs, soothes tension and tummy aches, improves the immune system, relieves pain and increases overall personal satisfaction, according to a Mayo Clinic advisory on stress.
  • Laughter fights infections. Research has found that higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin (an antibody that fights infections organisms entering the respiratory tract) were found in the saliva of people who watched funny videos or had experienced good moods.
  • Laughter boosts killer cells. After watching an hour long video of slapstick comedy, researchers have found that the “natural killer cells” which seek out and destroy malignant cells more actively attacked tumor cells in test tubes. These types of effects lasted up to 12 hours.

Arm yourself with the power of laughter and you’ll be ready to take on whatever challenges life brings your way.

Laughter IS the best medicine. :)

Here are a few websites to give you a quick laugh…

Break.com
StupidVideos.com
FunnyorDie.com (one of my favs!)

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
-E.E. Cummings-

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Posted on October 12, 2009

Happy Comments

36 Responses to “Laughter IS The Best Medicine”
  1. I love how you’ve pointed out that laughter can the resiliency that helps you bounce back and survive during tough times. This is so true! When I’m going through a tough time, the more I see friends who I really laugh with, the easier and lighter those rough patches seems to be later, when I’m back by myself. Laughter somehow takes some of the weight off of the heavy stuff, without us even realizing it.
    .-= Miche | Serenity Hacker´s last blog ..How to Get From Boredom to Intuition =-.

  2. I try to watch at least a 30 minute sitcom or a handful of youtube videos (like phillyd or kassemg) everyday. I know it can be considered a waste of time, but taking that time during my day gets me to relax,laugh,remember that life is hilarious, and to enjoy it.

    Great post as always Dayne

    Dave Damron
    LifeExcursion & The Minimalist Path
    .-= Dave – LifeExcursion´s last blog ..Living Off the College Mean =-.

  3. Great post! It made me happy just reading it. I agree that laughing is SO important and I can’t imagine a day when I haven’t laughed at least once!
    .-= positively present´s last blog ..finding hope on the bright side of the road =-.

  4. This is a rare occurance of negativity coming from me, but laugher can also [physically] hurt you when you’re experiencing chronic pain.

    When my old injury flares up, I constantly laugh it off, but take little humorous breaks in between laughs to say ouch. It sounds like:

    ha ha ha OUCH ha ha ha OOH ha ha ha BLURG
    .-= Pete | The Tango Notebook´s last blog ..Winner of the Free Tango Lessons Contest! =-.

  5. I’ve always found that laughter gets me out of way more troubles than it gets me into. A few other really fun things to do for some laughs is play some “Whose Line” games with your friends and spend a meal trading jokes. All of these benefits you listed are dead on.
    .-= Justin- AlittleBetter.net´s last blog ..20 Quotes from the Dalai Lama =-.

  6. Kaushik says:

    Laughter is indeed very releasing. The laughing-yoga people are onto something. Thanks of the great reminder.
    .-= Kaushik´s last blog ..Positive Thinking =-.

  7. As a teacher I try to make my students laugh. Often at my own expense or the expense of some students. The class ends up laughing quite a bit and I often feel very relaxed after a two hour class.
    .-= Gordie Rogers – Lifestyle Design 4U´s last blog ..How To Develop Persistence. =-.

    • Anish Mathew says:

      I wont fully agree with you, you said you make students laugh “on the expense of some students”, you should have to be careful that it wont hurt any of your student.

  8. Srinivas Rao says:

    Laughing till you cry is one of the greatest feelings in the world. For me, Seth Rogen movies seem to do the trick. Laughter is also contagious, which is a great thing.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..Guest Post: Using Good Jealousy And Overcoming Useless Jealousy =-.

    • Stenia says:

      Hello, I love your articles on the imapntorce of laughter. I truly believe that without it, life is just a process. I am writing an article about getting older and still enjoying life. You have some very valuable information. I would love to be able to add a link to your site.Thanks, and have a good day.

  9. Josten says:

    i truly agree that laugher is the best medicine. Whenever i’m feeling bad i simply go find a a funny dvd and laugh as much as possible. It truly does work wonders.
    .-= Josten´s last blog ..live life on the edge with positive thinking =-.

    • Nabila says:

      There’s one of those , too, though on a much smaellr scale. Someone paid $327,000 to have it installed. Attention, all planets of the Solar Federation. We have assumed control. ;^)

  10. alternaview says:

    This is great advice. I think we have to always make sure we aren’t taking ourselves too seriously. It is not that everything is a joke, but rather that we realize the importance of having the right mind frame to move things in the direction that we desire. Whether that desire is getting in a better mood, or moving toward our goals, laughter can play a very important role if we let it. A good dose of laughter is healthy mind medicine that can help us create the mindset we need to do anything.
    .-= alternaview´s last blog ..Yes, Everything happens for A reason…AND It is okay to try and understand the reason? =-.

  11. Laughter also boosts your sex appeal by a million.

    ;)
    .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..How to Sabotage Your Income =-.

  12. brigid says:

    Laughter is one of the most wonderful things around.
    I sometimes forget to laugh, but when I do I realise how much fun it is.
    even laughing at other peoples funny laughs is excellent fun and laughing til I cry is a rare and wonderful memory
    thanks for reminding me
    .-= brigid´s last blog ..My Progress Report =-.

  13. Heya Dayne!
    I agree, laughter is the best, especially those times when you can almost roll on the floor laughing and can’t stop :)

    I laugh a lot when I talk to buddies over skype, its really funny how you can type a story or comment and it can make someone laugh like crazy.

    Two other things I love are Friends and Southpark, they also never fail to make me laugh :)

    Thanks for the great and inspirational post!
    Have an awesome day!
    .-= Diggy – Upgradereality.com´s last blog ..Challenges, Mentors and Incredible Success =-.

  14. It is wonderful to come across your website and find another like-minded soul. I am so-oo-o into the power of laughter to heal and have used it a lot in my own healing journey from trauma, physical illness and pain to joy, peace, wellness and appreciation. It definitely works!

  15. Josh says:

    I truly enjoyed this article. I also believe in the healing power of laughter. Can I link to your article for a future post?

  16. joy says:

    i feel encouraged too. plus this seems so helpful ti others who might need it. so thank you so much keep up the laugher thing. if every living soul laughed this world would be peaceful.

  17. darshini says:

    it was a trilling experiance!!!!!!!!!!

  18. MEGHA says:

    Arm urself with the power of laughter,get out of your streesed self and loosen up!!!!! IT REALLY WORKS!!

  19. lucky says:

    it is too good laughter is the best medicin for any desease

  20. Thanks for the great info.

  21. This was a great post, thanks for the info.

  22. gazebo de says:

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article. Thank you!

  23. sina88 says:

    When I open your personal RSS feed this indicates to be a great deal of strange figures, will be the breakdown on my own readers?

  24. DIbyasri goswami says:

    no need to take tension guys just chill and keep smiling

  25. Julia Harris says:

    Great article thanks. Nothing beats a good laugh when i’m down in the dumps :)

  26. Resha says:

    “Laughter is the best medicine”. It is true because smile can make life easy and happy. Without smile, there is no reason why people still striving for better future. Smile can makes both us happy. Those times that people are down because of trials that they can’t feel on how to breath.
    Resha´s last blog post ..are warts contagious?

  27. This is so true. Every time we do a CelebTango for someone with a medical issue, it really seems to have a positive impact on their health and well-being. Laugh often!

  28. r k mishra says:

    laugh and let others laugh.

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