You’ve heard it before: Laughter is the best medicine. But is this a cliché and what does it mean?
Ultimately,”laughter is the best medicine” means that being able to laugh makes nearly everything bearable.
Now, scientists are discovering that this is not just an old proverb, but a scientific fact.
Laughter actually causes the following good changes to your body:
- Laughter brings oxygen into your lungs, which is distributed throughout your body.
- Laughter causes an increase in endorphins. Endorphins are the “happies” in your body; they provide a feeling of contentment and even joy. Endorphins are also increased with vigorous exercise and sexual activity.
- Laughter can actually be a form of exercise, increasing your heart rate.
- Laughter can decrease stress, which can then ease the physical responses to stress like muscle tension, headaches and nervous digestive issues.
So, now that you know that laughter is the best medicine, you need to add some into your daily routine. Take time to:
- Watch and read funny stuff. Whatever it is that causes you to actually laugh out loud, take time during the day to do it, whether it’s a late night talk show bit, looking at your best friend’s Facebook posts, or watching cat videos. Take time out to giggle.
- If you face difficult times including acute or chronic pain, seek comfort from others who manage to deal with these issues, while maintaining some semblance of humor. Hanging around depressed people and those who have poor coping skills is not conducive to your mood.
- Search for more sources of humor. Borrow a great library book written to entertain. Pick up a favorite comic strip collection. Listen to any of the comedy channels on XM-Sirius.
- Don’t feel that you always have to be “on”. Yes, laughter is healing, but you are allowed to feel sadness and grief over losses and challenges.
Try to fit in laughter and see if it helps you. If it does, make room for more and more of it in your daily and weekly routine.