Laughter is the Best Medicine
Contributor: Tierney Wittmann, Weight of the Fox Valley Program Assistant
Stressed? Sick? Need more energy? Simply try laughing it off!
Not only does laughter make you happier, but it also triggers many healthy changes in the body. A laugh is a powerful tool to strengthen one’s immune system, boost your energy, ease one’s pain, and even protect you from stress! Giggling can also positively impact one’s physical, mental, and social health. The best part is this laughter medicine doesn’t cost a thing, is easy to use, and fun!
Some ways to have more laughter in your life is to watch a funny video, share a good joke or story, play with a pet, have a game night, goof around with children, or simply to make time for fun activities. Below are more examples:
- Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.
- Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.
- When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
- Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
- Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
Check out all the great benefits of laughter on this website: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm