Ever wonder if there is any truth to the adage: ‘Laughter is the best medicine’? Today, we explore the why and how of it all and you may decide if it is worthy of the reigning title — the best medicine to cure or reduce the strain of all illnesses. Read on!
Why Does it Work?
Have you experienced a scene whereby a person in the room breaks into laughter and everyone else in the room starts laughing? Laughter is just like a spark that starts a fire. It is a simple, yet effective antidote to pain, conflict and stress. Humour inspires hope, connects people, lightens emotional burdens like stress and often makes a difficult situation bearable. Working together with laughter can complete a circle of happy vibes and positivity.
With a great power to reinvigorate and rejuvenate the atmosphere in conversations and rooms, the ability to laugh is a wonderful resource for enhancing relationships and supporting both physical and emotional health. The best of it all? It is fun and free!
Great for Physical Health
Simply by laughing, you would be able to relieve physical tension and stress in your muscles. It helps to enhance blood flow and the function of blood vessels, which can forestall your chances of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Endorphins — a type of feel-good hormones produced by your body — are released when you laugh, advocating a sense of well-being. A reduction in stress combined with endorphins can help you achieve clear skin by decreasing cortisol and other acne-provoking hormones.
Sometimes, it is used to relieve pain that is temporary, just like laughing gas is used in hospitals for anaesthetic and analgesic purposes.
Laughing also lowers stress hormones and increases infection-fighting antibodies, hence boosting your immune system.
Wonderful for Emotional Health
You can put an end, or a temporary stop, to distressing emotions with laughter, dismissing all the anger, sadness and anxiety, in exchange for a relaxed and focused mind.
As a respite for difficult situations, anger, loss and disappointments, humour helps you shift your perspective, even for the slightest moment, to an optimistic outlook of a negative situation.
Laughing makes you feel good and this happy feeling would linger on, even after it subsides. Feeling great and being positive keep you sane and will boost your emotional health.
Boost For Relationships
Laughter also draws you closer to others and expands your social circle, which may have a wondrous effect on your mental and emotional health.
Laughter is contagious, like a wildfire. You would most likely find yourself laughing more when you are around people than when you are alone. Sharing a laugh or two is not only about how humorous the jokes are, but the connections that are established with the people you share them with. This is the social aspect that laughter can bring to you. The connection is only established when you are engaged in the conversation and feeling at ease with the people you are around, building new relationships in the process and getting closer to friends and loved ones, too.
Have More of It
It all starts with a smile. It is the genesis of laughter. The next time you see something that is mildly pleasing or look at someone, smile. The smile would break down mental barriers and perhaps help to kickstart an interesting conversation.
Practise your smile in front of a mirror, if you feel uncomfortable and conscious about it. Smile more and you will find yourself more confident to show off your beautiful set of teeth and warm personality.
Another way is to make a list of silly memories that are precious to you. Put in every little act of good things in your life and count your blessings too. This simple act would build a fence around your present set of negative thoughts and perhaps draw a fond memory, triggering a laugh.
Surround yourself with people who laugh easily or have a playful personality. After all, it is a known fact that one’s personality is similar to the kind of people they surround themselves with. Hence, sharing a joke just to see the people around you laughing and having a good time would help you share a beautiful synergy of positivity.
If all else fails, watching comedies would not hurt, and so do simulated laughing exercises. Believe it or not, we are able to laugh, even if we do not experience a funny event. A simulated laugh can be just as good as the real deal. In fact, it may be even more effective and productive. To find yourself a series of guides to start, just search ‘laugh therapy’ or ‘laugh yoga’ and hit enter. You may just find all that you need to bring about a genuine, hearty laugh.