Do You Laugh Enough??
We’ve all probably heard the saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and the Irish proverb ‘a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything’.
As we get older though we tend to laugh less as we get caught up in the serious business of life. Just think of how often a baby smiles and giggles on a daily basis or how often children who are playing and having fun laugh? I’m guessing it’s a lot more than we do on a daily basis.
But there are huge benefits to laughing on a physical and emotional level. Here are some ways that laughter can help us get a healthy happy glow:
- Laughing eases stress, anxiety and fear. Laughter helps us be in the present moment and therefore our fears for the future or stresses about the past are momentarily put aside.
- Laughing relaxes the muscles and relieves tension. Who needs a massage, just have a good giggle!
- Laughing improves blood flow and boosts your immunity.
- Laughing feels great. It releases endorphins (the feel good chemicals) which are natural pain relievers. There have been studies showing that laughter can increase your pain tolerance thanks to the endorphins.
- Laughter can even strengthen abs if you engage in big belly laughs enough!
- Naturally enough, laughter can contribute to a greater sense of well-being and happiness and a better perceived quality of life.
- Being able to laugh and have a sense of humour in the face of challenges or disappointments is associated with greater resilience and an ability to cope with and bounce back from setbacks quicker.
- Laughter can bring people together and can strengthen relationships. Humour and shared laughter can induce feelings of connection and positive emotions and can defuse uncomfortable situations.
- Laughter is beautiful and attractive. People who have a good sense of humour are often deemed as more desirable and the ability to laugh and especially make others laugh is said to increase your sex appeal. Usually a good sense of humour is one of the traits that people say they’d like in their ideal partner.
So just how can we laugh more? Here are some suggestions:
- A laugh begins with a smile so smile more.
- Watch more programmes, films, YouTube clips that you find funny and get you chuckling.
- Go and see a comedy show.
- Read books or comics that make you laugh.
- Listen to some light-hearted comedy podcasts.
- Try a laughter yoga class. Yup, it’s a thing. Really! This is one I’d be curious to try.
- Meet up with people who make you laugh more often. I’m lucky as I live with the person who gets me laughing every single day!
- Loosen up… don’t take things too seriously. Try to see the lighter side of life. Experiment seeing if you can see the funny side of situations.
- Playing with animals or children is a great place to start! If you don’t have an animal or a child to play with, find somebody who you can get silly with. What was your favourite thing to do as a kid? What delighted you? Maybe it was playing board games, or riding your bike, or making sandcastles on the beach. Is there anything you could do that would give you that sense of delight now??
What could you do to bring more laughter into your life? I’d love to hear your suggestions!