The Benefits of Laughing More as an Antidote to Stress and Feeling Better About Your Life
by Erika Slater
Why is it as children, we couldn’t get enough laughter?
It seemed we were so quick to laugh at the drop of a hat. Everything seemed to possess some element of humor, we used it for the chance to laugh out loud, and laugh without ceasing. We laughed at the antics of others and watching TV or just playing outside.
We saw the “funny side” of everything. Even of our friends… and they didn’t mind but joined in with us!
Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, perhaps in our early adult lives, we dismissed laughter as being superfluous and not worthy of our time.
There are many theories around this from modelling other adults, to life is serious now and having “fun” and laughing is akin to wasting time.
The fact is laughter is not only something fun to do, but a necessary emotion that keeps us ‘happy’ and even healthier. Yes, you heard me right – laughter has exceptional health benefits.
Instead of laughing, too many people go through life being and looking so serious. As a matter of fact, it appears once the laughter stopped, so many people embraced anxiety, sadness or even depression as its full-time substitute. Furthermore, to quote the character, The Joker from Batman, “Why so serious?”
Have you ever heard of the expression, “Laughter is the best medicine”?
Have you ever wondered how true this statement really is? Well, here is some excellent “food for thought” on laughter…
THE BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER:
First off, laughter activates and relieves responses to stress.
Yes, it can bring you tremendous feelings of relaxation. Laughter can aid in muscle relaxation and stimulate circulation in your body. If your body is tight and tense from stress, laughter is a natural muscle relaxer!
Laughter can also stimulate many of your bodily organs to perform more efficiently.
Research has shown laughter stimulates positively your heart, brain, lungs and muscles. You see, this occurs from the endorphin’s released by your brain.
These are some excellent short-term benefits from laughing a lot.
There are also excellent long-term benefits…
Laughter has actually been shown to help relieve pain. You see, laughter releases natural pain killers.
Furthermore, laughter has been proven to improve your entire immune system. When you laugh, your body releases neuropeptides that combat stress that can lead to potentially serious illnesses occurring due to an overly taxed immune system.
Daily laughter can improve your mood, while at the same time combating anxiety and depression.
After all, if you’re laughing, then you must be happy in that moment and thus have not felt depressed!
Finally, laughter has been shown to increase entire satisfaction with your life. When you’re laughing often, it means you’re happy and you perceive your life as being good!
HOW CAN WE GET TO LAUGHING MORE?
Let’s just recap the primary benefits we touched on in the previous section of laughter:
1. Activates and relieves responses to stress.
2. Stimulate many of your bodily organs to perform more efficiently.
3. Helps relieve pain.
4. Improves your entire immune system.
5. Combats anxiety and depression.
6. Increases entire satisfaction with your life.
As far as I know there is no pharmaceutical company trying to generate a drug to make you laugh more. I could give you some cynical reasons around why not but let’s not go down that path here and get too serious.
So, it’s up to us to learn to laugh more and actually go out of our way to put ourselves in situations where we can. This is the point where you begin scratching your head once you get past the obvious “going to watch people that get paid to make you laugh” – comedians and comedy clubs.
This is not enough and I’d argue not necessarily the best way for long-term changes.
As it’s going to require some focus and changes you’re going to have to do work on yourself. Changing mindset and limiting beliefs begins the process. If your current mindset is laughing and having fun is only for weekends and vacations then you’ve got some “work” on your self to do. You’ve got some deep-rooted limiting beliefs to overcome.
I’ve provided a resource in the section below to get you started on overcoming limiting beliefs.
Second step is to look around at your friends? Do you have one or two that have a good sense of humor and you enjoy their company because they make you laugh? If yes, then good… go get more. If you can’t spot any natural comedians in your friends then… go get some.
Of course, you’re the “bait” for friends so you’re going to have to be attractive to them as being fun to be around. So, that’s why we talked first about changing your mindset around laughter.
Now being fun to be around has nothing to do with you wise-cracking all the time and making others laugh. If that was true then I’d never get any friends! But I can see the humor in situations and am a good audience for other’s wisecracking and jokes. I have to be to stay married to my husband! 🙂
Perhaps it’s been a long time since you truly have seen the humor in funny situations.
Yes, life can become serious at times, but you don’t have to be serious all of the time because of that. If you’re always angry, depressed or anxious, then you’re focusing too long on those emotions, and it’s time to work some joy into your life. Joy after all is a basic emotion we all want to feel about our life… unless your name is Scrooge – and even he changed!
Additional easy ways of making laughter part of your daily routine is to read cartoons in newspapers or online, or listen to a comedy podcast on your commute to work or home each day.
Get a pet, specifically a dog. It’s really difficult not to smile with the antics and behaviors some of our pets get up to each day!
The fact is you’d be surprised at simple things you can do to change your whole mood for the day by investing just a few minutes, and knowing the enormous health benefits it will bring to you. I’ve provided a resource below covering a lot more ways to bring laughter into your daily life.
If you’re struggling to ‘just relax’ and, just can’t seem to let loose and have a good time and laugh, then you might want to try hypnosis. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we do our best to make the sessions fun where appropriate. We leverage these concepts as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>
Hypnosis can help your mind stop focusing on serious things all of the time, and start to open you up to situations and thoughts that’ll make you laugh… even at yourself for being so serious!
If you feel you’re ready to add extra humor into your life and laugh more then check out this self-hypnosis session where you can welcome more laughter into your life using hypnosis here >>>
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO BENEFITS OF LAUGHING:
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
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