Laughing is good for your mind, body, and soul. In a very serious world, and with a lot of us going through very serious times (school, work, mental health, OH MY!), it’s important to remind ourselves that lightening up a little and letting ourselves have fun is important.
Having a little fun doesn’t always have to mean going out for crazy foods, or drinking out at a bar, or spending a weeks-worth of hard earned money in an hour at the mall. Sometimes, this can be as simple as getting some people together to laugh, have fun, and enjoy each others company.
And in a day and age where we are always consuming, via physical consumption or social media, it’s nice to have a break where we are simply existing rather than taking things in, and laughing provides us with exactly that.
Plus science agrees: laughing is good for you! So here are some thoughts about why and how you can laugh regularly and keep yourself feeling light amongst day-to-day weights.
Laugh Away Disease
Laughter might be the only “contagious” thing people enjoy catching. It also might be the key to helping get rid of other contagious substances, like infection and disease.
Since over 2000 years ago, physicians have used laughter to distract people from physical pain. Before anesthesia was where it is today, there had to be other ways to get people through difficult procedures and tests, and often times this method was distraction with humor.
It’s also just generally good for you. Laughter has been found to help people burn calories, boost their immune systems, and protect their hearts by increasing blood flow around the body.
Lastly, laughter is projected to help cancer patients for a lot of similar reasons. It helps reduce inflammation, which is a common bodily function that cancer cells take advantage of in our bodies.
And, in the worlds of someone actively fighting cancer and using laughter to get through it (check out this blog post, it’s wonderful):
“Laughing and humor are one of the few things cancer can’t touch.”
Laugh Away Stress
This distracting with humor method doctors used to use doesn’t stop at treating physical ailments, and its become more well defined as time as gone on.
Laughter therapy is now use around the world not only to treat cancer patients, but also to treat anxiety, depression, and severe stress.
Laughing releases endorphins, which in turn help to relax our entire bodies. You can feel it after you’ve had a good giggle, you’re calm and sometimes almost tired! Laughing also helps you get more restful sleep.
Also, apparently laughter yoga is a thing now!I had never even hard of this before, but imagine: you can get in touch with your body while relaxing all of your muscles and releasing a ton of endorphins. Talk about a win-win-win!
Laugh with Your People
Laughing brings people together. A lot of symptoms of depression and anxiety can be so easily relived just by having someone to talk to, someone to listen to, and someone to laugh with! It’s easy to invite people over for a fun evening centered around comedy.
Watching stand-up’s on Netflix is one of my favorite ways to gather people to laugh together. I would highly recommend Chris D’Elia, Iliza Shlesinger and Whitney Cummings, but everyone has their own preferences and it’s fun to try out a variety of stand up comedians to see which style suits you and your friend group best.
For something a little less inactive and a little more conversation-inducing, try popping a couple of jokes from Voxopop at your next dinner or lunch out with friends. Their jokes are very cute and appropriate, and who doesn’t love a good “Oh my gosh, I heard this great joke the other day…” lead-in to get a conversations started?