You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing. George Bernard Shaw
Who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? Whether it’s by yourself or with a friend, a good laugh is uplifting. But did you know that there are more benefits of laughter? It has positive physical and emotional benefits that go far beyond the moment of laughter.
In doing some research for this post, I came across some wonderful resources. One of them is Laughter Wellness. Their philosophy is “We believe in playfulness that leads to personal growth, joy filled techniques and exercises that promote a deeper level of awareness, and positive and empowering human connections that foster social harmony.” What a great philosophy and laughter contributes to all of it!
Studies have shown that laughter therapy can improve the quality of life for people over 60. It can increase blood vessel function, relieve stress and tension, improve memory and boost overall happiness. Laughter provides a boost to the immune system. It can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol by increasing blood oxygenation and helping circulation. It can increase levels of endorphins which help reduce pain levels in the body. It also increases stress reducing chemicals in the body making it a great stress management technique. You don’t have to go to laughter therapy to reap the benefits of laughter. Clearing the negative chatter in our minds so we can be present in the moment and open to opportunities to laugh is a start. Also, smiling more with your mouth and your eyes is an invitation for laughter.
I know it has been a rough year with the pandemic and there have been days when there seems to be no reason to laugh. But with all the benefits of laughter, I think there are a few things we can do to create an atmosphere to let it in. Watch less news on tv and certainly not before you go to bed! Watch fewer police and medical dramas. Watch more comedies. Practice the steps in my post on How to Get Happy. If you have a pet, play with it more. I know my kitty certainly can make me laugh! If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of laughter, check out Laughter Online University. It has lots of great information and even some exercises to help you start laughing!