Have you ever noticed how relaxed and good you feel after laughing at a
funny movie, television program, or humorous event? It seems generally
accepted that our bodies respond in a positive way to a hearty laugh.
Studies from the Department of Clinical Immunology at Loma Linda University
School of Medicine have shown decreases in serum cortisol levels during
a good laugh, which results in a stimulation of the immune system. It
is also credited with increasing the release of endorphins, the body’s
natural painkillers and protectors against depression.
There are things in our lives that can discourage our laughter: embarrassment,
pain, anger, rejection, worry, anxiety, risk, fear, criticism and more.
Laughter can be a powerful antidote to these emotions, and nothing works
faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance.
Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and
keeps you grounded, focused and alert.
Increase your possibility for laughter by:
- Watching a funny movie or TV show.
- Going to a comedy club.
- Reading the funny pages.
- Sharing a good joke or a funny story.
- Checking out your bookstore’s humor section.
- Playing with a pet.
- Doing something silly.
- Making time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).
Humor and laughter can be an effective self-care and care-giving tool.
The body, mind and spirit all benefit from its regular use. We can deliberately
increase the amount of laughter we experience in our workplace, as well
as systematically promote its use with children, youth and families. Make
it a daily goal to find humor in those things around you.