Laughter Is the Best Medicine
Don’t underestimate the power of laughter to make us feel better.
Laughing to ourselves, listening to others laugh, watching others laugh and even laughing at ourselves makes us feel better and it is contagious.
If you don’t believe me, listen to these funny clips:
These are without the strong visual aid or without being with friends which can all make laughter even more powerful.
Or watch this. We all hate bills, but this baby laughs in the face of them. This video is therapeutic too, don’t we all love to rip up a bill!
Now watch this funny video on road rage:
How do you feel now?
Better than you did a few minutes ago I’m sure. That’s the power of laughter.
How useful and beneficial could that power be in your everyday life?
I love this quote by the lady responsible for the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.
“When you laugh, you change and when you change the whole world changes around you.” Dr. Madan Kataria
These quotes have stood the test of time for a reason - because they are true!
‘Laugh and the whole world laughs with you’
‘Laughter is the best medicine’
GOOD REASONS TO LAUGH
Laughing not only lifts mood, it flattens our stomachs as it engages stomach muscles (try it and feel your stomach tighten as you laugh), it boosts our immune system, it lowers blood pressure and relaxes the body as it reduces stress and tension.
Everyone can do it; we can even do it on our own 24/7. Doing it with others and people we like and love can make it even more powerful.
HAVE WE FORGOTTEN HOW TO LAUGH?
It’s as if many of us have forgotten how to laugh. Getting someone to laugh can often be a massive hurdle especially if their lives are such that they can see no reason to laugh. This can be overcome by letting them see the trivial things in life that we can chuckle at. YouTube gives us plenty of opportunities for that! Once someone has started laughing and is enjoying it and feeling the benefits they will remember and see how good it makes them feel. They will want to do it again and again and hopefully become contagious whilst doing it ☺
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO LAUGH?
Good catalysts for laughter can be watching a comedian, a funny TV programme, watching a funny film or video.
Audience laughter makes us laugh and has been used for ever in TV to get the viewer to laugh. Have you ever watched a comedy with the sound of audience laughter switched off? The programme is exactly the same but doesn’t seem as funny and you don’t laugh as much. Why, because laughter is contagious! There’s that power again!
Look around you there’s lots going on that can make us laugh. To watch someone do something funny, like tripping up or walking into a door can set someone off laughing. Harsh but true!
If you’re the one doing the falling over, laugh at yourself and feel the benefit of it?! Everyone else does, why shouldn’t you? I can laugh at myself now and do so often!
Laughing with friends, colleagues, peers and strangers often needs no excuse, happens spontaneously and is great fun.
Medical research and evidence back this all up and has proven the power of laughter on physical, mental and emotional health. So why wouldn’t we want to do it? It’s easy once you know how, it costs nothing, it’s so beneficial and we feel the benefit immediately. While it costs nothing it’s contagious and gives others pleasure. Giving always feels good so why not give laughter away.
There are laughter classes now (if you fancy going along to one), a World Laughter Day on Sunday May 5th and even a yoga discipline dedicated to laughter.
So help yourselves to laugh by doing some of the following:
Watch a comedian
We all have different senses of humour. There are lots of comedians out there. I’m sure you’ll find one who appeals to your sense of humour. Here are a few who make me laugh:
Lee Evans Click here for Lee Evans.
Michael McIntyre Click here for Michael McIntrye
Miranda Click here for Miranda
Tim Vine Click here to watch Time Vine
Watch funny clips
‘You’ve been framed’ Click here to watch and laugh at You’ve been Framed
Play a harmless trick on someone
Make someone jump for instance – the mere anticipation of my sister making her husband jump has her laughing hysterically before she’s even done it
Laugh with friends
I don’t think this one needs any clarification. When we laugh with our friends we truly find happiness.
Look back in time
Use your memory bank and think of something or someone funny that made you laugh, relive that personal moment. You can’t help but smile.
Please let us know your own suggestions and I’ll pass them on:
DON’T BE AFRAID TO LAUGH IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
Maybe because of our link between laughing and finding something funny we are reluctant to laugh in a serious situation but it can get you through it and be very healing.
As I’ve already said, when I was in the depths of my depression I used to watch mindless funny TV and it used to help me feel better while I was doing it and for a time after.
A friend of mine came to stay when she was severely clinically depressed. I dragged her along to see a comedian at the Edinburgh Festival. She really really didn’t want to go and I did think twice about taking her but knowing what it did for me, I took her along. She couldn’t help but laugh as he was very funny and she admitted she felt better for 2 days afterwards.
We can always find something to laugh at. Even in the face of adversity.
My sister swears that it was her humour that got her through her cancer. When I was looking after her and her newborn son one night she was asking for pain killers. I was tired as I’d spent hours getting her colicky son to sleep. I went down to the kitchen for her pain killers and back up to her bedroom. 10 minutes later she was complaining she was still in pain. I told her to be patient. The next morning I realised I’d been giving her iron tablets. She said, ‘this cancer’s not going to kill me, you are!’ We couldn’t help but laugh. It was a very serious situation, not at all funny on the face of it but in that moment we saw the funny side.
Once you start your own personal laughter therapy you need to keep doing it. You know it makes you feel so much better once you start.
I wish that for you.
Start laughing, keep laughing and feel better.
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