The link between laughter and mental health
- Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
- Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Not sure how to laugh on a regular basis? Here are a few tips for that!
- Watch funny videos/movies/shows/programs...whether it is slap-stick humor like “The Three Stooges”, cutting-edge sarcastic movie like “The Bridesmaids” or blooper shoes like America’s Funnies Home Videos”, watching things on TV that make us laugh is a great experience.
- Do NOT laugh when other people fall…well maybe just a little bit even if it sounds really mean, any form of laughter is better than none.
- Go to a comedy show or look for funny jokes on Google or your favorite search engine. It is amazing how many funny jokes are out there….just not to be told by me (I am horrible at telling jokes).
- Laugh at yourself. Have you walked somewhere and accidently tripped over your own feet or the sidewalk or whatever and then looked around to see who was watching you? Yep, I do this sort of thing all of the time. I laugh at all of my funny accidents unless I am on the ground in excruciating pain…then I expect everyone else to laugh, of course only after you make sure that I am still alive!
- Fake it ‘till ya’ make it. This may sound funny (note the bad play on words) but our brain has a very difficult time determining the difference between a fake laugh and a real laugh. The same biological process happens either way. This means that if you “fake” laugh, you will still feel really good (after you get over feeling weird for fake laughing, that is). Now try it! Did it work? Are you feeling better? Even for a second? Good, my work is done for the day.
Enjoy your day today and keep laughing!