Laughter Truly is the Best Medicine

“Laughter dulls the sharpest pain and flattens out the greatest stress. To share it is to give the gift of health” -Barbara Johnson

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, I was terrified. I reached out to my friends and family for support and was overwhelmed by their generosity. I received so many gifts, but the one that I remember the most is the gift one of my co workers gave me…..the gift of laughter! Harry sent me a funny video every week that I underwent Chemotherapy. I would watch the video’s during treatment and the laughter combated my fear. I went through 4 months of Chemotherapy and Harry never missed a week and I always looked forward to the videos. I don’t think Harry knew that the he gave me the greatest gift of all, the gift of laughter.


Laughter Helps You Stay Healthy

Laughter is a powerful antidote to pain and stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for overcoming problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Laughing is truly medicine for the soul and body. It reduces stress hormones, boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure, relieves pain.

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Source: www.helpguide.org


Laughter Helps You Stay Mentally Healthy

We have a lot to gain from laughing! Laughter also has the following effects on our mental health.

  • Releases endorphins: Natural chemicals in the body, endorphins promote a sense of well-being and relieve stress.
  • Decreases anger: When we’re in a difficult situation or in a disagreement with another person, seeing the humor in it can help. Specifically, laughter defuses anger, conflict, and self-blame.
  • Eases distressing emotions: Laughter counteracts feelings of anxiety and sadness. Moreover, it helps us release other intense emotions, such as grief.
  • Relaxes and revitalizes: Along with reducing stress, laughter also increases our energy levels. Therefore, we can stay focused more easily.
  • Changes your perspective: Laughter helps us access another point of view. Moreover, we begin to see something in a new, less scary way when we can laugh about it. In addition, humor helps us take things less seriously.
  • Reduces stress: When we laugh and smile, cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, so lower levels are better for our mental health. Therefore, laughter increases our stress resilience.

Source: Newport Academy

There is no better feeling in the world than laughing so hard you can hardly breathe. You may be thinking that this is silly and you can’t make yourself laugh. You are right, but you can place yourself in an environment that promotes laughter. Listen to a funny morning show on the radio. Hang out with a friend who always makes you laugh. Watch your favorite sitcom or funny video on the internet. It will be easier than you think! To get a good start, click here to watch my favorite funny video!

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years working in Community mental Health. I currently Supervise the Behavioral Health Benefit for an insurance company. I speak publicly on issues that affect mental health in the workplace.

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