Do you know how laughter can heal? It also feels good to laugh. Yet, laughter offers many more amazing benefits to help you live a happy, healthy life.
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain.
How Laughter Can Heal
How laughter can heal is an excellent question. What is it about laughing that helps us heal? If only we knew the complete answer to that, right? But the truth is that laughter can heal in many ways. Here are a few of them.
Laughter releases endorphins.
These are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Released into the system, endorphins help relieve pain.
You get a mini workout.
When you laugh, your abdominal muscles contract and your shoulders move. It’s an effortless form of exercise.
Enjoy total relaxation.
Laughter has a relaxing effect on the whole body. The state of bliss can last for up to 45 minutes afterward.
Laughter can heal by releasing tension.
Tensed shoulders are a sign of built-up tension. Laughing is a straightforward way to let go of that stress.
Laughing helps the heart.
When you laugh, it increases blood flow and improves the functioning of the blood vessels. This is a significant benefit to the heart.
Blood pressure decreases.
While laughter initially raises blood pressure, it then reduces it. The result is a lower blood pressure reading (bp). This is good, especially if your average blood pressure is high and your doctor has prescribed high blood pressure medication. You can record and discuss lower bp readings with your doctor to see if any medication changes are warranted. Always take medications as directed unless the doctor decides otherwise.
How laughter can heal: Weight loss may be possible.
Laughing speeds up the body’s metabolism and heart rate. Regular laughter, then, may help with weight loss.
Sharing a laugh with others is good.
Not only does laughing feel good, but it can also be contagious. By laughing and sharing it with others, you can enrich your relationships. This contributes to increased happiness and intimacy with others.
Laughing cleans the lungs.
How can laughter clean the lungs? Think of laughter as a kind of vacuum cleaner. The act of laughing helps cleanse the lungs due to expelling more air than regular breathing.
Laughter can heal by boosting the immune system.
When you laugh, it increases the number of T-cells in the body. This, in turn, helps to boost the immune system. Your body can better resist disease and infection with a more robust immune system.
More Benefits of How Laughter Can Heal
Laughter offers more benefits besides the 10 examples of how laughter can heal.
Therapeutic Approach for Mental Health Disorders
In addition to its well-known ability to erase bodily tension, laughter is also helpful in treating mental health disorders. Laughing helps reduce anxiety and acts to relieve depression from untreated stress.
Brazilian researchers verified the effectiveness of laughter therapy on depression and anxiety in hospitalized patients. Their systematic review and meta-analysis found that laughter therapy was more effective for reducing both conditions than standard care.
Kanbur and Bastemur (2023) looked at humor as a therapeutic tool to help individuals talk about meaningless situations and inconsistencies they experienced. With the therapist’s assistance and by making these experiences entertaining, appropriate interventions could be made in humor therapy.
A pilot study on laughter yoga found significant improvements in some aspects of mood and increased heart rate variability. The study participants did 10 sessions for four weeks. Laughter yoga consists of 20 minutes of breathing and stretching exercises, chanting, clapping, meditation, and simulated laughter. Laughter improved participants’ long-term anxiety and immediately boosted vigor, activity, and friendliness.
Tips for a Good Laugh
Adding more levity into our day could be one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Here are some tips on how to laugh more.
- Go for the comedies. Try renting or watching hilarious comedies on regular, cable, or streaming TV.
- Read a book of jokes. No kidding, joke books are readily available and make entertaining reading material on a long journey. Besides, you’ll find jokes you can share with others to spread joy.
- Subscribe to an online laugh-a-day service. Yes, there is such a thing. You can get free subscriptions to laugh newsletters, texts, and messages so you never miss your laughter highlight of the day.
- Spend time with someone who makes you laugh.
- Look for ways to lighten up every day.
After a while, it won’t seem like such a tough job at all. You will look forward to sharing something amusing with your friends, loved ones, and family.
Now that you know how laughter can heal, what are you waiting for? Enjoy laughter today and increase your happiness.