Catalyzing Happiness: Laughter is Cheap Medicine
“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”– George Gordon Byron
They say that laughter is good for the soul. Yet it is also good for the physical, mental, and emotional bodies.
In an article posted on WebMD.com and reviewed by Dr. Michael W. Smith, R. Morgan Griffin states, “We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.”
Further, “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. “They might be healthier too.”
Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Add more laughter into your day. Here are a few suggestions of ways to create opportunities to laugh:
- Watch a funny movie.
- Go to a comedy club.
- Seek out funny people.
- Read funny books.
- Host game night with friends.
- Play with your pets.
- Go to a “laughter yoga” class.
- Goof around with children.
- Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).
And, what’s the fastest way to create laughter? Just start laughing! Begin by pretending to laugh and soon you will notice that you are actually laughing.
What’s even better? Pretending to laugh with another person. Laughter is contagious.
But, be prepared…once laughter is started it is difficult to stop!
In conclusion, even Psychology Today, states “Rigorous proof that we can reduce stress and pain through laughter remains an unrealized but reasonable prospect. While we wait for definitive evidence, it can’t hurt — and it’s certainly enjoyable — to laugh.”
So, a guy walks into a bar…”