Laugh, Laugh, Laugh….
Titter, Giggle, Chuckle, Belly Guffaws, Cracking up, Roaring, Sniggering, Howling, Hysterics, Hooting, Snorting, Cackle, Convulsions of Mirth, Cachinnation, Happy Sobbing, Shriek, Tee Hee, HA HA HA… However you laugh it is a language everyone understands from a small baby to a great granny, laughter conveys affection and connection; it is your basic primitive communication that brings relief to anxiety, tension, worry or threat.1
A DAY WITHOUT LAUGHTER IS WASTED
Laughter is a whole body experience! Laughter freely uses your larynx, thorax and diaphragm it is highly contagious (it is a joyous virus!). Laughter massages the internal organs such as Kidneys, Liver and Intestines through contraction of the diaphragm and trunk muscles! Ever laughed until your stomach ached… all those muscles are giggling and manipulating your abdominal cavity. Laughter and humour are therapeutic allies that magnify the healing response.2-3
LOVE YOUR LAUGH
Laughter stimulates neurons in our brain, sending electrical responses across many regions. Brain scans show compelling evidence that Gamma Brainwaves that help clear your mind and assimilate your thought processes are triggered by laughter. Laughter releases a cocktail of neurotrasmitters that flood your body – Endorphins such as Serotonin and Dopamine help mood and metabolism. Your Lymphatic System benefits from activation of the diaphragm and muscle pump action, increasing your lymph movement 15 times faster than normal, helping your immune system and detoxifying your body. Laughter exercises your Lungs, Heart and Respiratory System stimulating blood flow helping deliver oxygen and nutrients.4
Laughter facilitates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps the body to relax and calm, this helps you re-evaluate situations from a different perspective, overcome problems, improve our resilience to challenges, reducing our stress related hormones allowing you to become more hopeful and optimistic which helps us cope with the ups and downs of life. There really are no negative side effects from laughter! 5
ALWAYS LAUGH WHEN YOU CAN. IT IS CHEAP MEDICINE
Studies have shown laughter helps benefit patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, COPD, Dermatitis and Asthma.6-7 There are a plethora of health benefits from laughter…
- Powerful positive effects on Mind, Body and Spirit
- Boost pain thresholds, tolerance and energy levels
- Influential muscle relaxant
- Pumps your cardiovascular systems increasing blood flow and oxygen levels
- Strengthens immunity with antibody production
- Lowers blood pressure and burns calories
- Psychoneuroimmunology balance of mind and body
- Reduce stress hormone levels and promotes a positive mental attitude
- Improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia
- Raises good cholesterol and lowers inflammation in diabetic care
- Reduces depression and anxiety and increases coping abilities and quality of life
Laughter is an instant equaliser, tension diffuser, shock absorber and promotes unity. Laughter can strengthen our relationships by facilitation of group collaboration which improves our efficiency in the workplace by helping effective decision making, helps people bond together and build cohesive teams that are creative and enthusiastic.
LAUGHTER IS THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE
Laughter is a celebration of life and helps us express joy, delight, good news, gratitude and fun …laughter helps us love ourselves and each other unconditionally. Laughter is crucial for our health and wellbeing, it helps us let go and release control, open up freely to a deep sense of happiness and richer life. Current research indicates laughter as a great coping mechanism. Laughter is a positive sensation that helps overcome mistakes, shyness and embarrassment, and a good giggle will help release stress during difficult times, dissipating fear and tension. Laughter can be a tonic that builds compassion, calmness and relaxation.
AS SOAP IS TO THE BODY, SO LAUGHTER IS TO THE SOUL
Laughter is great fun…. However you decide to laugh standing, sitting, walking…. indoors, outdoors, loudly, quietly, laughter is the key to a happier and healthier life. These are a few ideas to get you chuckling:
- Dancing around the kitchen
- Tickle your partner
- Exercise with Laughter Yoga
- Collect an album of funny snapshots
- Figure out how to make others giggle and smile
- Watch a hilarious comedy show or film that tickles your sense of humour
- Sing out loud and chuckle in the supermarket
- Keep a gratitude journal of all the things that make you smile
- Stock up your mobile phone with funny clips
- Wear outrageous brightly coloured clothing
- Look for a funny headline every day
- Join a laughter club and practice your daily ha ha has and ho hos
- Have a massage to limber up for laughter
HUMOUR IS HEALING
We would love to hear your ideas for sharing laughter with friends, chortling at yourself and having a hoot on your own! In the meantime let us help you find the funny side of life and prepare your body for some full on hilarity with a massage, reflexology or acupuncture to help you restore your laughter mode.
- Sturge L (2017) Laugh – Everyday laugther healing for greater happiness and wellbeing. China: Quadril
- Strean, W.B., 2009. Laughter prescription. Canadian Family Physician, 55(10), pp.965-967.
- Ponton, H., Osbourne, A., Greenwood, D. and Thompson, N., 2018, September. Understanding the dynamics of construction design team meetings through joint laughter. In THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE(Vol. 88, p. 88).
- Mora-Ripoll R (2010) ‘The therapeutic value of laughter in medicine’, Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 16(6), pp. 56–64. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=104810367&site=ehost-live&scope=site (Accessed: 2 January 2021).
- Wilkins, J. and Eisenbraun, A.J., 2009. Humor theories and the physiological benefits of laughter. Holistic nursing practice, 23(6), pp.349-354.
- Yim, J., 2016. Therapeutic benefits of laughter in mental health: a theoretical review. The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine, 239(3), pp.243-249.
- Gilbert, R. (2014) ‘Laughter therapy: Promoting health and wellbeing’, Nursing and Residential Care, 16(7),pp. 392-395. Doi.10.12968/nrec.2014.16.7.392