Is Laughter Good Medicine?

By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse

But God will never abandon the faithful or ever give help to evil men. He will let you laugh and shout again. Job 8:20-21 Good News Bible

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.”? Is laughter really that good for us? Think about how you feel after a good laugh or even a chuckle. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to feel a bit lighter and happier.

According to Helpguide.org, here are some potential positive effects that laughter has on our bodies:

Physical benefits:

  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles

Mental health benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and tension
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Strengthens resilience

Social benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

OK…so it seems that laughter is good for us. What can we do to incorporate laughter and humor into our lives? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Laughter always starts with a smile!
  2. Count your blessings.
  3. When you hear laughter, move toward it.
  4. Spend time with fun, playful people. Even if you don’t consider yourself a lighthearted, humorous person, you can still seek out people who like to laugh and make others laugh.
  5. Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today?”
  6. Watch a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video.
  7. Goof around with children.
  8. Do something silly. Wear socks that don’t match or an unusual hat.
  9. Laugh at yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously.
  10. Don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t dwell on people, news stories, entertainment, or conversations that make you sad or unhappy.

There will be days or times in our lives that laughter or humor is just not appropriate or even possible. That’s OK. There will come a time when you can laugh again. When that time comes, don’t forget that laughter can be good medicine.

 

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