Stressed? No worries. We have a really good remedy for that. And it’s super easy, we promise. If you want more joy in your life, all you have to do is laugh. Invite the chuckles, giggles, and downright cackles into your life and watch your world shift.
Laughing feels SO good. It’s a natural medicine that improves your mental and physical health, helps you build stronger relationships, and makes you more fun and attractive to be around.
What does laughing mean in biological terms?
It means that when you are laughing, you are showing emotion with a vocal sound. Laughter is contagious from person to person. And I mean contagious in a really good way. Laughing is a form of communication between humans. It can mean that we are having a great time, are bonding and showing understanding, or even that we are uncomfortable or embarrassed.
It’s not too surprising that laughing occurs more often in people that are already happy. Laughing gives the stress hormone cortisol the boot and replaces it with feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. All of these awesome chemical reactions happening from laughter can help to increase social bonds, boost motivation, reduce pain, cause stress to plummet, and draw others closer to you.
There are many benefits to laughing. A study from 2016 that you can find right here on pubmed.com found that people with a strong sense of humor had a long life expectancy, while those who didn’t, had a higher risk of health issues.
So what exactly are all of the benefits of laughing?
Improves mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and anger
Relaxes muscles and tension
Increases blood flow and circulation
Boosts social bonds and attractiveness
Forms new perspectives with challenges
Increases alertness, productivity, and memory
More positive and optimistic outlook on life
Studies have also shown that true laughter is more about connections and relationships, rather than individuals laughing at things happening on electronics. When we laugh together, it invites more opportunities for other funny things to show up in the conversation. And remember what we said about it being contagious? Keep it rolling together!
We are going to invite you to take some steps to set yourself up to catch more humorous moments in your life so that you can enjoy the fullness of a good laugh more often.
- Laugh together. Bring up certain things that you know the other people with you are going to find funny.
- Put your phone away to avoid distractions and actually catch each other's jokes. I feel like so much humor has been lost because we are missing it. And when it continues to be missed, those who are trying to deliver it are eventually going to give up trying.
- Spend time with funny, playful, and happy people.
- Set up game nights with friends5.
- Tell jokes and funny stories.
- Watch/listen to funny movies, books, podcasts.
- Smile more. Smiling is the precursor to laughter.
- Practice gratitude.
- Try laugh yoga or laugh therapy.
- Be silly and spontaneous. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
Laughter is one of the greatest medicines available to us because it literally pummels stress in every fight. Chronic stress is the root of so much disease and unhappiness, so if we can knock out stress with a 1-2 punch, we will experience the happiness that we were created to enjoy.