“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” – Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.
They say laughter is the best medicine. I always disagreed, but lately I have come to fully understand the true worth of laughter. Not only did I experience the value of laughter first hand, but after doing some research, I discovered how it plays a role in your physical, mental and emotional health.
Here is a list of a few health benefits of laughter:
- Relaxes your muscles
- Relieves stress
- Boosts your immune system
- Improves blood pressure and flow
- Reduces aggression and feelings of despair
- Relieves pain
- Eases anxiety and fear
We can even argue that laughter connects people with one another, strengthening their relationships. It improves mood and lifts burdens. And the best thing about laughter – it’s free!
Laughter is contagious…
Have you ever heard someone laugh so hard that you cannot help but start laughing yourself? It happens, and it is a wonderful feeling. You do not even have to know why the person is laughing – just the sound is enough to be infectious.
It is one thing to be able to laugh with someone, but a completely different thing to laugh at oneself. But you should be able to laugh at yourself. It indicates a good character trait – humour. The world is serious enough, and it is good to remind ourselves not to take everything so seriously, including ourselves.
“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.” – William Arthur Ward
In a life filled with despair, fear, war, bloodshed, anger, confusion, disappointment, loss and betrayal – how do we find joy and laughter? Well, we find it in each other, in ourselves, and in everything around us.
Here are some examples of where you are sure to find laughter:
- The Ginger Man – JP Donleavy
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
- The Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare
- The Pickwick Papers – Charles Dickens
- Finnegan’s Wake – James Joyce
- The Hangover
- Dumb and Dumber
- Coming to America
- New Girl
- 30 Rock
- The Office
- The Simpsons
There are many other ways to have a good laugh. Go watch a stand-up comedy show, read comic strips in the newspaper, or read jokes and tell them to your friends. I must confess: I obtain my daily laugh or chuckle from online videos – usually involving animals doing weird and funny things. It always lifts my spirit.
Even though there are so many ways to get a laugh, the best ones are always the unexpected ones. And next time you find yourself in a hilarious situation, do not suppress your laughter. Let it out and laugh! It is the best medicine.