“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”
— Victor Hugo
Laughter is the best medicine. You have probably heard this statement more than once. In fact, there is much truth to the value of laughter for promoting and maintaining our physical and mental well-being. Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body as it strengthens our immune system and diminishes pain. Likewise, laughter triggers emotional changes, such as booting mood and protecting us from the impact of stress. It also encourages social connection, which can have a further positive impact on our physical and mental well-being.
How does Laughter Help?
Laughter helps to shift distressing emotions.
Laughter helps us relax and recharge.
Laughter and humor bring a sense of relief from heavy burdens and helps us to feel grounded and hopeful.
Laughter helps to shift our perspective and promotes optimism.
Laughter helps to reduce stress and increases energy, enabling us to stay focused and accomplish more.
Laughter and humor can create psychological distance, which can lighten a burden and help us feel less overwhelmed.
Laughter helps us to connect with others, which can have a major impact on all aspects of our mental wellbeing.
Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter, and like laughter, it’s contagious.
Be more spontaneous.
Do something silly.
Connect with a joyful mindset.
Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up.
Find your inner child.
Let go of defensiveness.
Move toward laughter and join in the conversation when you see others laughing.
Spend time with fun, playful people.
Share a good joke or a funny story.
Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
Watch a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video.
Play with children.
Attempt to laugh at situations rather than ruminate on them.
In addition to personal experience, there is plenty of research supporting the use of laughter to improve our mental well-being. Now it is up to us to seek out more opportunities to engage in laughter and use humor to promote our well-being and connect with others.
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Visit us at lindquistpsych.com
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