It's fun to share a good laugh, but did you know that it can actually improve your health? Learn to enjoy the powerful benefits of laughter and humor.
The benefits of laughter.
It's true: laughter is strong medicine. It attracts people in a way that triggers healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens the immune system, improves mood, reduces pain and protects you from the harmful effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more reliably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you with others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps to release anger and forgive sooner.
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and often is a tremendous resource for overcoming problems, improving your relationships, and supporting physical and emotional health. Best of all, this invaluable remedy is fun, free, and easy to use.
As children we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults, life tends to be more serious and laughter less frequent. But by finding more opportunities for humor and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness, and even add years to your life.
Laughing is good for health.
Laughter relaxes the whole body.A good laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
Laughter stimulates the immune system.Laughter reduces stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins,the body's natural chemicals for well-being. Endorphins promote a general feeling of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Laughter protects the heart.Laughter improves blood vessel function and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughing burns calories.Granted, it's not a substitute for hitting the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories, which could be enough to lose three to four pounds over the course of a year.
Laughter lightens the heavy load of anger.. Nothing dispels anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking on the funny side can put problems in perspective and allow you to work through confrontations without harboring bitterness or resentment.
Laughter can even help you live longer.A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlive those who don't laugh as much. The difference was particularly noticeable for those battling cancer.
What are the physical, mental and social benefits of laughter?
physical health benefits
- Increases immunity
- Reduces stress hormones.
- decreases pain
- relax muscles
- Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits
- Add joy and enthusiasm to life.
- Relieves anxiety and tension.
- relieve the stress
- improves mood
- Strengthens resilience
- Strengthens relationships
- It draws others to us.
- Improve teamwork
- Helps calm conflicts.
- Promotes group unity.
Laughing helps you stay mentally healthy
Laughter makes you feel good. And that positive feeling stays with you even after the laughter fades. Humor helps you maintain a positive and optimistic attitude in difficult situations, disappointments and losses.
[Read: Cultivating Happiness]
More than a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult moments, a laugh, or just a smile, can make you feel better. And laughter really is contagious – just hearing laughter primes your brain and prepares it to smile and have a good time.
The link between laughter and mental health
Laughter interrupts distressing emotions.You can't feel anxious, angry, or sad when you laugh.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge.Reduces stress and increases energy, allowing you to stay focused and achieve more.
Laughter changes perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic and less threatening way. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and in general conflict.
Laughter brings you closer to others,It can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health.
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Laughter brings people together and strengthens relationships.
There's a good reason TV sitcoms use laugh tracks: Laughter is contagious. You are much more likely to laugh with other people than when you are alone. And the more laughter you bring into your own life, the happier you and those around you will feel.
Sharing the humor is half the fun; in fact, most laughs don't come from hearing jokes, but simply from spending time with friends and family. And it is this social aspect that plays such a large role in the health benefits of laughter. You can't laugh with other people unless you take the time to really engage with them. When you care about someone enough to hang up the phone and really connect face to face, you are participating in a process that rebalances the nervous system and slows defensive responses to stress, such as "fight or flight." And if you laugh too, both of you will feel happier, more positive and more relaxed, even if you can't change a stressful situation.
How laughing together can strengthen relationships
Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong, lasting relationships, but sharing laughter also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. Laughter unites people in difficult times.
Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships, triggering positive feelings and promoting emotional connection. When we laugh with each other, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, misunderstandings, and disappointments. Humor and laughter in relationships allow:
Be more spontaneous.Humor gets you out of your head and out of trouble.
Let go of the defensive.Laughter helps to forget resentments, judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
Release inhibitions.His fear of holding back is put to rest.
Express your true feelings.Deeply felt emotions can surface.
Use humor to resolve disagreements and tensions in your relationship.
Laughter is an especially powerful tool for managing conflict and reducing tension when emotions run high. Whether with romantic partners, friends and family, or coworkers, you can learn touse humor to smooth over disagreements, reduce everyone's stress level and communicate in a way that builds your relationships instead of tearing them down.
How to bring more laughter into your life
Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and innate. Babies begin to smile during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud a few months after birth. Even if you didn't grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.
Start by setting aside special times for humor and laughter, just like you would exercise, and build from there. Over time, you will want to embed humor and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything.
Here are some ways to get started:
Smile.The smile is the beginning of laughter and, like laughter, it is contagious. When you look at someone or see something slightly pleasant, practice smiling. Instead of looking at your phone, look up and smile at the people you pass on the street, the person serving breakfast, or the coworkers you share an elevator with. Notice the effect on others.
Count your blessings.Literally make a list. The simple act ofconsidering the positive aspectsof your life will keep you away from negative thoughts that block humor and laughter. When you are in a state of sadness, you have to travel further to reach humor and laughter.
[Listen: Gratitude in difficult times]
When you hear a laugh, go to her.Sometimes the humor and laughter is private, a joke shared among a small group, but usually not. Most of the time people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them a chance to laugh again and feed on the humor you find in it. When you hear a laugh, look for it and ask, "What's so funny about that?"
Spend time with fun and playful people.These are people who laugh easily, both at themselves and at the absurdities of life, and who usually find humor in everyday events. His playful point of view and laughs are contagious. Even if you don't consider yourself a cheerful and kind person, you can find people who like to laugh and make others laugh. Every comedian appreciates an audience.
Bring humor to conversations.Ask people, “What's the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In their life?"
So what if you really can't "find the fun"? Believe it or not, it is possible to laugh without experiencing a funny event, and simulated laughter can be just as beneficial as actual laughter. It can even make exercise more fun and productive. A Georgia State University study found that incorporating bouts of mock laughter into an exercise program helped improve older adults' mental health, as well as their aerobic endurance. Also, hearing others laugh, even for no apparent reason, can often elicit a genuine laugh.
To add simulated laughter to your own life, look into yoga or laughter therapy groups. Or you can start by simply laughing at other people's jokes, even if you don't find them funny. You and the other person will feel good, it will bring you closer and, who knows, it might even provoke a spontaneous laugh.
Creating opportunities to laugh
- Watch a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video.
- Invite friends or coworkers to a comedy club.
- Read the fun pages.
- Find fun people.
- Share a good joke or funny story.
- Consult the humor section of your bookstore.
- Host a game night with friends.
- Play with a pet.
- Go to a "laughter yoga" class.
- Play with the children.
- Do something silly.
- Make time for fun activities (eg bowling, miniature golf, karaoke).
Tips to develop your sense of humor
An essential ingredient in developing your sense of humor is learning not to take yourself too seriously and to laugh at your own mistakes and weaknesses. As much as we'd like to believe otherwise, we all do dumb things from time to time. Instead of feeling embarrassed or defensive, accept your imperfections. While some life events are clearly sad and not opportunities for laughter, most do not carry an overwhelming feeling of sadness or sadness.oPleasure. They fall into the gray area of everyday life, giving you the choice to laugh or not. So choose to laugh whenever you can.
How to develop your sense of humor
Laugh at yourself.Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about the times you took yourself.furtherreally.
Try to laugh at situations instead of regretting them.Find humor in a bad situation and discover the irony and absurdity of life. When something negative happens, try to turn it into a funny story that makes others laugh.
Surround yourself with reminders to relax.Keep a toy at your desk or in your car. Put a fun sign in your office. Choose a computer screen saver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
Remember the funny things that happen.If something funny happens or you hear a joke or funny story that you really like, write it down or tell someone to help you remember.
Don't get hung up on the negative.Try to avoid negative people and don't focus on news, entertainment, or conversations that make you sad or unhappy. Many things in life are out of your control, especially the behavior of other people. While you may find it admirable to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, in the long run this is unrealistic and unhealthy.
Find your inner child.Pay attention to children and try to imitate them; after all, they are specialists in playing, taking life lightly and laughing at common things.
Deal with stress.Stress can be a huge drag on mood and laughter, so it's important to keep your stress levels in check. A great technique to relievestress right nowIt is going back to a favorite memory that always makes you smile, something your children did, for example, or something funny a friend told you.
Don't go a day without laughing.Think of it like exercise or breakfast, and make a conscious effort to find something that makes you laugh every day. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes and do something that entertains you. The more you get used to laughing every day, the less effort you'll have to do.
Using humor to overcome challenges and improve your life
The ability to laugh, joke, and have fun not only makes life more enjoyable, but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and think more creatively. People who incorporate humor and fun into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships.
Life brings challenges that can bring out the best in you or become a plaything for your imagination. When you “become the problem” and take yourself too seriously, it can be difficult to think outside the box and find new solutions. But when you play with the problem, you can often turn it into a creative learning opportunity.
[Read: Conflict management with humor]
Playing with problems seems natural to children. When they're confused or scared, they play their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with other people in a playful way helps to maintain this creative capacity.
Here are two examples of people who took everyday problems and solved them through laughter and jokes:
- Roy, a semi-retired businessman, was excited to finally have time to pursue golf, his favorite sport. But the more he played, the less fun he had. Although his game had improved dramatically, he was angry with himself with every mistake. Roy wisely realized that his golfing friends affected his attitude, so he stopped playing with people who took the game too seriously. When he played with friends who cared more about having fun than about his scores, he criticized himself less. Now playing golf was as much fun as Roy had imagined. He scored better without working harder. And the brighter perspective he was getting from his teammates and the game spilled over into other parts of his life.
- janeshe worked at home designing greeting cards, a job she loved but now felt had become routine. Next door to her lived two girls who loved to draw and paint. Eventually, Jane invited the girls to play with all of her art supplies. At first she just watched, but over time she joined. Laughing, coloring and pretending with the girls transformed Jane's life. This not only put an end to her loneliness and boredom, but also sparked her imagination and helped her artwork flourish. Best of all, it rekindled the joviality in Jane's relationship with her husband.
As laughter, humor and play become an integral part of your life, your creativity will flourish and new opportunities to laugh with friends, co-workers, acquaintances and loved ones will present themselves daily. Laughter takes you to a higher place where you can see the world from a more relaxed, positive, and joyful perspective.
Autores: Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, MA, y Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
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Last updated: December 5, 2022