Benefits of Laughter

horse laughing

Benefits of Laughter.

We have all heard the phrase, "laughter is the best medicine." It's an interesting thing, thinking about laughter as medicine.

We know that laughter is contagious. When one person or a group of people are laughing it is hard not to smile, at least, or even join right in with their laughter.

We know that when we laugh together it somehow binds us together and increases our happiness and feelings of friendship. Because of its many positive effects on the body there is reason to believe that it can literally contribute to our overall well being.

Some of the proven benefits of laughter include:

  • strengthened immune system
  • boosted energy
  • diminished pain
  • reduced stress
  • strengthened cardiovascular system
  • And the best part - it does it naturally without negative side effects. And it is fun to use.

    "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." ~Woody Allen

    The opposite would also then be a viable consideration as well. One who rarely laughs or rarely smiles cannot benefit from the things that laughter can produce.

    People who are depressed, ill, worried about some event or pressure in life, or who have experienced a loss of some kind, rarely laugh. If the ailment persists for a long period of time, facial wrinkles and posture also reflect their concerns.

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    laughing eyes

    Smile wrinkles or frown wrinkles and posture are body language that don't just happen. They require your active involvement. They develop over time as a result of the way a person acts, what they think about, and what they do. In many ways they tell alot about a person's past.

    Take depression as an example. A person who suffers from depression smiles very little. Laughter is rarely heard. They tend to have a negative mental attitude about everything. They tend to feel less loved or liked. And their body language shows a worried demeanor.

    The important thing about this is that the final diagnosis of depression came about as a result of other things that should have been dealt with earlier.

    The nice thing about it is that we can generally deal with it ourselves without going to the doctor.

    So what are the benefits of laughter?

    Physical benefits.

    Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health." -Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

    • Laughter brings about the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body which help to make us feel good, have a sense of well-being, and can actually help to bring about a reduction of both depression and pain when they are present.
    • Norman Cousins, in his book, "Anatomy of an Illness" (1979) states that he was able to overcome a crippling disease, ankylosing spondylitis, by laughing. He stated that laughing heartily for ten minutes per day allowed him to sleep for two hours per day pain-free.
    • Smiling and laughing is a great relaxant. Watching funny movies or humorous events actually creates relaxation and helps to altar our mood.

      Not only does stress seem to melt away but other physical benefits such as blood pressure and heart rate, digestion, the immune system, and muscle tension as well as many other bodily processes, tend to improve.

    • Immunity improves when laughter is increased. The number of immune cells increase and stress hormones tend to become decreased in number. This combination will boost our immune systems.
    • Laughing is fun. Be sure to find the laughter game, called "The Ha Game," on our Natural Stress Relief page. It really will make you laugh whether you participate or choose just to watch.

    laughing family

    Relationship Benefits of Laughter.

    "We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh."- Agnes Repplier

    No one enjoys being around someone who doesn't laugh or who rarely smiles. It doesn't matter whether it is family, a neighbor, a class member, a sporting event, work, or any other social environment.

    In fact, the lack of a smile and a tasteful laugh, as occasion permits, puts others on the defense and shortens any conversation or relationship.

    Family. There is no place more important to smile and laugh than with our families. Whether it is our spouse, our children or our parents or siblings, laughter creates a bond of love and friendship.

    Laughter benefits the sense of well-being, of self-esteem, and of belonging. Worries tend to become smaller and less significant in our eyes. If we are only going to laugh in one place - laugh at home.

    The Doctor's Office. In Dr. Cook's chiropractic practice, a smile, a laugh, and a positive attitude literally aids in the healing of patients. It makes them feel like they came to the right place, and if there are future issues it helps in their decision to return to his office.

    Communication. From a public speaking aspect, a smile and good humor, which affects the overall body language, is just as important as anything that is said. When we do this people really want to listen to us and they feel good about what we say.

    Laughter has the effect of adding enthusiasm, conveying the idea that we not only know what we are saying, thus giving it credibility, but that we really believe it.

    This concept spills over into casual communications with anyone.

    Conflict. Laughter works like a magnet and others are not only attracted to a happy person but they respond positively, as well. If there is conflict, it is more easily resolved when one can smile and laugh tastefully.

    Group Work. When working in a group a happy attitude promotes cohesiveness and the ability to work in unity.

    Service. A smile and a laugh along with any type of service to anyone is one of the best ways of reversing a bad day or circumstance. It's hard to be depressed, upset, or angry when we are doing something for someone else.

    These things all by themselves are reason enough to smile and laugh tastefully in any setting with others and it doesn't cost us anything.

    The benefits of laughter will manifest themselves in better relationships, more productivity, more satisfactory results, and a greater ability to get, maintain, and advance in any given profession.

    Need a laugh? Want to make someone laugh? Click here to share your personal "Funniest Story" with the world.

    laughing josh

    Psychological Benefits of Laughter.

    It has been said that what we are doing and how we hold ourselves affects the way we feel. This in turn results in what our facial expression and our body language becomes.

    If we put a smile on our face, laugh a little, and move our bodies into a positive stance, it won't be long before we actually feel positive as well.

    We will see and feel an increase of joy and a feeling of increased energy. Our mood soon follows and that positive feeling actually stays with us even after the laughter stops.

    Optimism about life and our varied activities improves. Anxiety and our fears are eased and stress is actually reduced.

    At that point we can literally begin to see things from a more positive perspective and life in general appears to be less threatening to us.

    It is difficult to feel like we are being consumed or covered over with our troubles when we are doing this. In short, it is a simple, cost effective way to improve the quality of our lives without the help of a psychiatrist.

    "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing." --Michael Pritchard

    laughing verna

    Reaping the Benefits of Laughter.

    How can we smile and laugh more so that we can see the benefits of laughter?

    • Try laughing more even if we don't feel like it. Especially if we don't feel like it!
    • Think more positively and minimize the time we spend on troublesome concerns.
    • Try counting and listing the many positive and good things in our lives. Some baulk at this and say that there is nothing good in their lives.

      However, if we stretch our thinking and notice those around us whose troubles are greater than ours we will begin to see some good in our life. Work on expanding this list.

    • Surround ourselves with funny things and fun people.
    • laughing Rusty and Katelyn

    • Playing with a child will almost always bring a smile.
    • Other people's happy attitudes and positive perspectives are contagious and we can be the benefactor of it all.
    • It is also a good thing to laugh at ourselves when we make a mistake. Nobody is perfect and everybody does something wrong sometimes.
    • We can incorporate more fun things into our life such as fun games and activities, fun media, music, and other programs, jokes, funny stories, literature, and just plain doing something crazy and spontaneous.

    By doing some of these things we will literally experience of the benefits of laughter by transforming our countenance physically and mentally.

    Consciously work on it if you need too. Soon it will become a habit. Our lives will be so much better if we include laughter every day.

    "The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~E.E. Cummings

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    "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter". --Mark Twain

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    Is your story funnier than mine?

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    For More Related Ideas on
    The Benefits of Laughter:

    Exercise and Fitness

    Herbal Brain Foods

    Brain Functions

    Benefits of Drinking Water

    Motivational Thoughts

    Effects of Stress

    Funny Short Stories

    Best Ways to Relax

    How to Sleep Better

    Share Your Very Own "World's Funniest Story" and see what other funny stories people around the world have to tell.

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