I’ve long been a lover of the Reader’s Digest “Laughter, the Best Medicine” column and frequently guessed that laughter was good for me. After all, I had been raised on the mantra “the family that laughs together, stays together” and also my family owns a long list of “in” jokes that need merely a catch phrase to crack up the entire clan.
However, now my suspicion that laughter is good for me can really be backed up by scientific proof. Humor can enhance memory. This would explain why so many advertisers invest a whole lot of time and money on humorous ads and gimmicks. It may also explain why so many of our favorite teachers also happened to be humorous. We had been studying while we laughed and it did not hurt a bit!
Humor may also help us be more creative. Often humor makes us look at ourselves or our world in a slightly different manner that may be both enlightening and challenging to our brains. If amused we’re more inclined to open up our minds and think outside the box. Laughter is a wonderful way to relieve stress. We know there are quite a few other methods but laughter is socially acceptable in many situations.
Laughing really reduces levels of certain stress hormones. It offers a safe discharge for the flow of stress hormones and the fight-or-flight compounds that come into action in times of anger or difficulty. Laughter can make you fitter by boosting your immune system. Unbelievably, once you’re laughing, natural killer cells that destroy tumors and viruses increase and brings balance to all the components of the immune system. Additionally, laughing can also offer a fairly good aerobic workout.
Still more healthful advantages of laughter include lowering your blood pressure, increasing vascular blood circulation, and increasing oxygenation of the blood that enables the body to continue recovery activities for itself. Shared laughter promotes unity and bonding between and among individuals. Co-workers who laugh together and households that share a common bond of comedy also work more cohesively and overcome difficulty more efficiently.
Laughter and humor may also open the door for the sharing of thoughts and emotions. Many men and women feel more comfortable communicating thoughts and concerns while the disposition of the group is relaxed and happy. Finally, there’s the simple truth that laughter may be a fantastic antidote to depression and unhappiness. While laughter can’t cure chemical imbalances it can help lift your spirits and mood. Often a good laugh won’t just jog you from your gloomy mood it might also run your creative impulse and allow you to find a solution to the cause of your unhappiness.
Rather than being frustrated and gloomy because there’s no perceived alternative, laughing lifts you up from your pool of issues and puts you on solid ground where you could get some new insights. Under conditions of happiness it’s far easier to think creatively about a problem than when your mind is full of thoughts of helplessness or worthlessness. Did you know the average person laughs 17 times per day? Are you above or below average? Perhaps you will need to spend more time with funny people or perhaps you only have to open yourself to the comedy of life around you. Bring more laughter in your life and reap the benefits of improved memory, improved imagination, diminished stress, enhanced health and stronger connections.