Laughter is Medicine

Laughter. Whether it’s cramp-up, side-stitching funny or a silent giggle, laughter makes you feel good and lifts your mood. I’ve found that when I am having a rough and exhausting day, my mind always turns to humor for a quick outlet. But why? Why do we laugh and why is it so important? I don’t know about you, but being around people who find no humor in anything and don’t laugh leaves me feeling tired and pessimistic. On the other hand, I think about those friends that are always cracking jokes or doing something silly. I want to be around them! Their happiness is contagious, and they seem less stressed and more willing to face each obstacle with optimism. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a lifestyle worth having.

Laughing kid

So, why do we laugh? Seriously. What causes our mouth to all of the sudden elicit unrecognizable sounds, our body to cramp up or shake, and for us to create ridiculous facial expressions? If someone had never seen laughter before, they would think we were having some sort of attack or seizure. But no, we are physically displaying our mental enjoyment of something. We can make ourselves laugh, but true laughter comes from deep down, and according to How it Works, it shows our social connection to others. Like I said, think about it. Have you ever been around people who don’t laugh? The situation gets really uncomfortable really fast which makes you want to crack a joke to lighten the mood, but of course it doesn’t work. Ah, a vicious cycle. Laughing together with others creates comfortable, social bonds and you become more willing to be vulnerable to those around you.

Laughter is contagious and fun to do. I love laughing! Growing up was probably the time when I laughed the most. Everything was funny. There were no cares in the world, so why not be silly and make jokes? Think about your present. Really think. When was the last time you had a good laugh? Last week? Last month? I get it, we’re adults. We have more important things to do like worry about work deadlines, not being silly. But what if I told you that laughter is healthy for your body? It’s true. According to multiple studies, such as a study done by Web MD, laughter can do four important things for your body. First, it can increase blood flow, especially to your brain, which you need for productive working anyways. Second, it can raise your disease-fighting antibodies and increase the amount of immune cells in your body. This is because with decreased stress, your body is able to more readily use its white blood cells. Now, you’ll have less sick days. Third, it can lower your blood sugar. Low blood sugar is important for avoiding health effects such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis. In addition, it can help avoid damage to the heart, blood vessels, and nerves. Lastly, laughter can help you sleep and relax. It releases pent up tension and relaxes the muscles in your body allowing for a more deep sleep. And we all know sleeping is one of the most important parts of our day.

Let’s learn to laugh more and stress less. Research has shown it’s good for you, so why not do it? Laughter and happiness can be increased by surrounding yourself with optimistic people. Also, learn to laugh at yourself. I mean, if Jennifer Lawrence can laugh at herself for falling at the Oscars, I’m pretty sure we can let some embarrassing moments go too. Learn to find humor in everything and take time for fun. Lastly, exercise. Exercise makes you happy! And happiness lowers stress.

Laughter isn’t hard to do and happiness isn’t hard to find, you just need to look for opportunities and remember that laughter is medicine too.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Laughter is Medicine

  1. Great blog Nicole. I liked how you you compared an adults circumstance to a child’s and how there is no reason we cannot laugh as much as we did when we were kids. I catch adults saying quite often, “oh to be young again.” Well there is no reason we should feel old. We let life and society get us down and pressure us with our jobs and families and such, but there is no reason we cannot laugh carelessly like we did in our youth. If only people would stop caring so much and just strive to be happy 24-7! Oh how enjoyable life would be.

    Like

  2. Well said. I do think that as we get older and stress more we can forget to laugh and be “silly.” This post was personal, informative, and well written (I could feel the awkward situations and hear side splitting laughter). It also makes me thankful for our exercise science group because someone is always saying something hilarious and we are all laughing together!

    Like

  3. Your blog made me smile within the first paragraph. Great “feel good” moment. I instanty recalled the last time I laughed so hard I cried! Those moments are some of the best ever. The simple things 🙂 Well done!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s