The Benefits Of Laughter

Are You Serious?

The benefits of laughter are many but sometimes we can allow life to get very “serious”. 

This is not to say that life circumstances are not challenging or that our responsibilities are not important.

But if you find yourself being overly glum, see yourself in a somber mood or are inclined to panic there is an instant therapy that can easily be applied to shift your frame of mind ...laugh.

Can You Laugh At It?

Sometimes this simple human response can be a real challenge.

It is so easy to convince yourself that to laugh in whatever the current circumstances may be would not be an appropriate response. 

It would be to somehow betray whatever it is you are worrying about and to make light of a difficult situation. `

What Is Laughter?

But laughing is a “medicine” a remedy that can change how you feel about a situation.

It can help you place your circumstances in a new light and can sometimes even provide that little nudge that moves you to see a new way forward.

You may well ask “how can I laugh with a broken heart” or laugh “with this illness that’s bringing me down”?

But ask yourself who can genuine good laugh hurt?

It can even be done in private and it will have the same effect.

                Humor Really Is Good For You.

Some significant studies have shown that humor has many beneficial effects.

Have a look at these benefits of laughter and humor -

15 psychological and physiological benefits of humor (Berk, 2001).
Eight psychological benefits of humor.

• Reduces anxiety
• Reduces tension
• Reduces stress
• Reduces depression
• Reduces loneliness
• Improves self-esteem
• Restores hope and energy
• Provides a sense of empowerment and control

Seven physiological benefits of laughter:

• Improves mental functioning
• Exercises and relaxes muscles
• Improves respiration
• Stimulates circulation
• Decreases stress hormones
• Increases immune system defenses
• Increases production of endorphins

"The Best Medicine"
University of Oregon
by Barbara Butler
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology 

Laughing Aids Recovery

Laughter has been used to help recovery from serious illness.

The story of Norman Cousins told in his book Anatomy of Illness shows how he built a positive attitude using humor as a platform for recovery.

“Laughter is a powerful way to tap positive emotions”
― Norman Cousins

Also did you know that there are over 5,000 laughter yoga clubs around the world with the aim of positively dealing with stress?

Are You Funny?

Of course one of the more difficult things to do is to laugh at yourself.

You can be in a very stressful place if you feel people may be laughing at you for some reason.

It is very useful to stand back and have an awareness of this from the point of view of ego.

Ego is that little chatterbox in your head that can pick up the slightest remark from a colleague or friend and “cascades” it into a “problem”.

The effect of ego can be very strong and you can even end up believing that “everybody” is sniggering at you.

Stand Back

But standing back you will realize that ego has constructed a picture of some perceived “failure” on your part about which you may feel very sensitive.

So any remark about this “failure” will be multiplied by ego and for you any amusement at this is a serious business.

Looking on you will also see that if someone has a laugh at you that this is also their ego at work.

So the real scene is their ego boosting them up and your ego knocking you down.

If you practice looking at situations like this you will find a space where you can see the funny side of it all.

You will learn to be amused by your ego in the knowledge that it is not the real you you’re laughing at.

The facts about laughter show that it really is a way of lightening the mood, shifting your point of view and even benefiting your health.

So whatever makes you laugh do it more often, on your own, with friends, with family and remember it is a great communicator -we all do it - and in the same language

The Benefits Of Laughter > Dealing With Panic

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