It’s no myth. Laughter really is the best medicine. Not only does it affect your blood sugar, immune response, and your vascular function, but it physically relaxes your whole body too. If you’re having a tough day, week or year, remember that laughter can actually contribute to a more positive change in perspective. Laughter is fun, free and available to absolutely everyone, so start taking yourself less seriously and inject some humour into your daily life. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.
Laughter increases your endorphin levels and the number of cells producing antibodies working in your body, which is great news for your immune system. It reduces the levels of stress hormones including epinephrine, cortisol and dopamine, which can be very helpful if you have a demanding job or a challenging family life. Laughing exercises the diaphragm, shoulders and abdominal muscles and has also been found to be good for the heart.
Laughter provides a kind of release, similar to crying. It can be a force for change in terms of your perspective and allow you to view challenging life events in a more positive and light-hearted manner. It also distracts the mind from anger, stress, guilt and other negative emotions in a positive and healthy manner. Forget drinking that half-bottle of wine; putting on a comedy programme is a much better option.
Why not go to a movie or a comedy club like Comedy Carnival with friends or family? Laughter is believed to be highly contagious and you’ll end up laughing much more than if you went alone. Laughter binds people together and increases feelings of intimacy and unity. Those who laugh more will in turn positively affect those around you and reduce stress levels in a family or professional environment. There’s nothing wrong with maintaining a light-hearted attitude in most situations because it affords you a certain sense of perspective and discourages worry over little things.
Start Finding the Funny
If you don’t see anything to laugh about, fake it. This may sound like a silly suggestion, but your body is unable to differentiate between false and real laughter, and will react in the same way as if you were really finding something funny. If you often look back on unpleasant life events with sadness or anger, start seeing them differently and consider transforming them into ridiculous anecdotes can be laughed at and learned from.