There is something to be said about having a really good belly laugh and then afterwards feel your body just relax. But did you know that research has been done on the health benefits of laughter for stress relief, and that it could actually have great benefits for you if you laughed every once in a while. Laughter can help relieve pain, boost your immunity, and provide you with a sense of greater happiness.
Having a good sense of humour could turn out to be one of the better character traits you could have. It is sad that many people don’t get enough laughter in their daily lives. All of us could do with more laughter every day, and here are some reasons why.
6 Benefits of Laughter For Stress Relief
Here are only some of the many ways that laugher can reduce your stress levels.
Lowering Stress Hormones
Laughter lowers your stress hormone levels. These include dopamine, cortisol, growth, and epinephrine (adrenaline) levels. It also boosts endorphin levels (health enhancing hormone). When you have a good laugh, the number of antibody-generating cells are increased, and it boosts the efficiency of your T cells. All this attributes to a stronger immune system which in turn contributes to lower physical stress effects.
Laughter Provides A Physical Release
We’ve all had those moments when you have to laugh otherwise you’re just going to burst out crying. Have you ever noticed that cleansed feeling after you’ve had a thorough laugh with a good friend? Laughter not only offers physical, but also emotional release.
Internal Bodily Exercise
Your diaphragm enjoys a workout when you have a deep belly laugh because your abs contracts while you laugh. Even your shoulders and heart get a good workout, leaving you feeling more relaxed afterwards.
A Welcome Distraction
Laughter shifts the focus away from your feelings of stress, anger, guilt, or any other negative emotion and offers a more beneficial distraction than the latter.
Laughter Can Give You Much Needed Perspective
Studies reveal that your response to stressful outcomes can be altered in the way you see it, either as a challenge or a threat. Humour offers a more lighthearted view and can help you to look at certain events as a challenge. Instead of it being threatening, you’re turning it into a positive, less threatening experience.
There Are Valuable Social Benefits Linked To Laughter
Laughter brings people together. Just by showing kindness or smiling randomly at someone you can brighten up their day. Laughter is infectious. By bringing more laughter into your daily life, you can unknowingly help others by letting them enjoy the benefits of a good laugh too.
By lifting the spirits of others around you, you can lower their stress levels and even boost the quality of social interaction you have with them. This can further bring down your stress levels.
3 Easy Ways of Using Laughter to Benefit You
Laughter is one of best stress management strategies because it is readily available, convenient, it doesn’t cost you anything, and it comes with various health benefits.
Having a Laugh With Friends
Going to see a comedic movie with friends is an excellent way for you to laugh more. The contagious impacts of laugher might bring your more opportunities to laugh freely than you would have had otherwise. Have some friends over for game night or a few drinks and share some fun moments, or have a games night over Zoom. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Look For The Humour in Life
Instead of letting negative feelings take over and then you find yourself complaining about the things in life that you cannot change, try to see the humour in them. If something is so ridiculous and frustrating, remember that at some point, you will be able to look back on this and laugh because it will be in the past and you got through it.
Many times I have gone through some awkward situations in my life but had a good laugh about it with friends afterwards. When you approach life in a more gleeful way, you will immediately feel less stress when you encounter negative events.
Fake it if You Have to
Just as studies reveal the positive impacts of smiling, irrespective if it is real or fake, the same goes for laughter. Fake laughter offers the same benefits that we’ve mentioned above. And Im not sure if yoy’ve ever tried it, but if I’ve fake-laughed in the past, I’ve always ended up genuinely laughing afterwards. So have the people around me.
Your body cannot differentiate between real laughter that is derived from actual humour or fake laughter that you have done on purpose. The physical advantages are the same. Therefore, smile more, break out those fake laughs even if you don’t feel like it. You can still enjoy the positive effects.
I hope this post has helped you in some way and that these 6 benefits of laughter for stress relief will encourage you to laugh more in the future and see the humour in maybe some less than positive events.
Sending you love, light and laughter