We’ve all heard it said that laughter is supposed to be the best medicine. Is it true? What does laughter actually do for us? Well, friends, after 60+ years of life allow me to share a few things from my own experiences.
- Relieves Pain: Whether it be physical, emotional or mental pain, laughter can take lessen pain. It may not take it away entirely, but it certainly eases the pain you’re experiencing. I dare you to try it. Next time you slam your finger in a cupboard door or feel something painful internally – laugh. Make yourself laugh (you can actually do this), and I promise you, it will all feel very different. Laughter causes our body to produce its own natural pain killers
- Takes the Pressure off Self: This is a big one. Start to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so darn seriously. Really, I mean it. Begin to laugh at yourself and the funny or quirky things you do. Find your button that turns off the pressure so you can have some fun at your own expense. By doing this, you step further away from being offended, you sweat the small things less and less, and you realise that you aren’t really as serious as you thought.
- Makes Life More Enjoyable: Laughing makes life fun. When you laugh your spirits are lifted, and it just changes everything around you. There is a reason for that (explained below) but it really does make life more enjoyable and in turn, makes you more enjoyable to those around you and to yourself.
And, if you don’t believe me, or the age-old saying, it seems experts are saying the same thing. Apparently, laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies which then can improve your resistance to disease. Endorphins are triggered which are the natural ‘feel good’ chemicals, and this promotes an overall sense of well-being.
Additionally, laughter cares for the following:
- Protects the heart: causes the blood vessels to work making it an excellent cardiovascular workout.
- Helps you live longer: According to a study in Norway, laughter is a crucial ingredient to a long life.
- Helps with Anxiety and Tension
- Shifts Perspective: Laughter can distance you from a challenging situation, allowing you the opportunity to see things differently which then will enable you to process individually.
- Connects you to others: Laughter unites and brings people together. There is something about laughter that is contagious.
- Burns Calories: That’s right, laughter can burn calories and help your abdomen strengthen. A good belly laugh does us well holistically.
Those are just a few ways in which laughter impacts our everyday life. From what I can see and what I’ve lived, laughter is a big part of our well-being. So I encourage you to find something to laugh about every day and be mindful that I’m saying something not someone.
It may be a funny video on the Internet, or a good joke shared by a friend. It might be one of your kids who is the clown of the family who is able to ignite roars of laughter. And, as you laugh remember that your children are watching you, they are learning from you, and they are learning that laughter is a big part of life.
If you’ve gotten to a place in your home where the pressures of life seem to have sucked the joy out of the air, I understand, and this happens to all of us from time to time. But, if point #4 (above) is correct then maybe a good laugh is something that will help you lift the burden and see more clearly.
For parents, there are some great comedians on Netflix that are worth watching. Find a night to sit down together and watch. Additionally, there are some great movies that you can watch as a family to bring laughter back. Or, have some friends over and relive some of your funny memories.
These are all great ways to create moments that will bring forth laughter. Trust me, it’s worth it. And, seeing your kids laugh and hearing their laughter is one of life’s sweetest joys for any parent.
Go on, laugh a little.