Laughter is the best medicine

Author: Vasco Gaspar

Did you know that children laugh hundreds of times per day compared to adults who laugh much less. There are even people who seem to have forgotten how to laugh. Is this your case? How long haven’t you had a good laugh? You know, the type of laugh which brings tears to the eyes and abdominal pain the next day?

If you are one of those people who have forgotten how to laugh, I strongly recommend that you relearn doing it. I’m saying this, not just because it is nice to laugh but mainly because it is one of the best thing you can do for your well-being in an integral way.

Let us take a brief look at the importance of laughter and why is it is essential for us to laugh:

Physically

When we laugh our whole body is stimulated. The muscles become more relaxed and hormones are released that give us a sense of well-being. This is a very important to do today because the majority of people literally feel the “weight on the shoulders”, caused due to stress. It has also been proven that laughter lowers some harmful hormones related to stress reaction, such as cortisol and at the same time as it increases various elements in the body which strengthen the immune system. Thus, laughter really make us more strong and resistant to diseases, almost as if our body fight the aggressors with a smile on its face.

For those who do not have time to go to the gym, the act of laughing can also be a good alternative. Several studies point to the fact that few minutes of laughter have the same contribution as many aerobic exercises such as jogging, rowing or cycling.

Mentally

Did you know that sense of humor is considered to be a great sign of intelligence? This is because the simple act of laughing causes the brain to become more oxygenated which means that we gain greater clarity and ability to analyze and address the challenges that we face in our life. Hence if you wish to increase alertness, what can be a better way other than to laugh!

Emotionally

At the emotional level, laughter contributes to the fantastic release of negative emotions like anger and sadness, helping us to become more balanced. It is also a great social catalyst, helping us to communicate more effectively with people and to strengthen ties with them. In this sense, laugh whenever possible and try to be in situations and / or with people who make you laugh.

In the work environment

There exists evidences that companies that promote laughter tend to have better results than companies that do not. This is the reason why lately there has been the phenomenon of many companies promoting laughter sessions as activities for their employees.

There are so many more benefits to write about laughing but I think the most important thing is to laugh! Laugh at yourself, laugh with others (not about others), laugh of situations! Remember that even on the “darkest” occasion there is a positive side, as the saying goes: “If 10 years from now you will look back and laugh at this situation, why don’t you do it right now?”.

Photo credits: http://morguefile.com/

Comments

  1. Marie Overfors said on February 1st at 6:08 pm:

    Thanks for the excellent article! I dearly love to laugh.

  2. Brain said on February 2nd at 12:08 pm:

    Visited your blog post through AOL. You know I will be signing up to your rss.

  3. Sue Wolpert said on February 2nd at 3:32 pm:

    I am in the humor business as the publisher of a cartoon an humor newspaper called Funny Times. Our readers tell us that laughing makes them feel sane and more connected to like minded people.

    Last year we used Appreciative Inquiry to explore at work how we have been successful in business. Here is one of the questions we used. People shared one on one and then in the group as a whole:
    Laughing is fun and fun often brings laughter:
    A Story: Last year my husband and I took a stroll along the road that follows the Rio Grande. The sun was low in the sky, and long shadows stretched out from every fence post. There was a lovely glow in the air. Ray and were talking about what people do to have fun. The sound of oncoming traffic pulled us out of our own thoughts and conversation. We had just moved to the side of the road when a row of motorcycles came zooming around the bend. Next thing you know we see gleeful men on bikes whizzing by. There were horns beeping and arms waving. Their happiness was contagious. I said to Ray, “I want to know what makes people go “beep beep””.
    • What makes you go “beep beep”?
    • Thinking back over your life when have you had the most fun?
    • Where were you? What were you doing? Who else was there? What was your role?

  4. Niki Glanz said on February 2nd at 4:19 pm:

    Yes, let’s all laugh it up! Great points, Vasco. I’d just add that laughter also appears to be related to resilience as we note ironies or challenges with wit vs. wallops.

  5. Confident Queen Genny said on February 3rd at 6:00 am:

    Thanks for such a great article, I do love to laugh and thanks for sharing.

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Genny Jones , Vasco Gaspar. Vasco Gaspar said: My Bright Child » Laughter is the best medicine http://bit.ly/zbmbc9 [...]

  7. Juan Stolte said on February 24th at 12:56 pm:

    Thanks for providing such information.

  8. matura 2011 przeciek said on February 26th at 6:37 pm:

    Very interesting entry, I look forward to the next! Thx for share

  9. Vasco Gaspar said on March 31st at 5:48 pm:

    Thank you for your comments! :)

Add A Comment