Benefits of Laughing and Smiling

“Laughter is the Best Medicine” Chances are you’ve heard this expression before, and in fact, it is a great truth. Laughter is a natural gift that creates feelings of well-being and empowerment. It has been shown scientifically to improve both mental and physical health.  It is so widely recognized that Cancer Centers of America promotes “laughter therapy” as a strong complimentary treatment for those battling very serious illnesses.

When you laugh, it not only makes you feel better emotionally; it creates a series of responses in the body that facilitate healing.  Laughter has been shown to boost the function of the immune system.  It also increases the uptake of oxygen into the cells, stimulating the heart and lungs and balancing blood pressure.  As you let go and laugh with your whole being; your muscles relax and the body releases natural pain-killing substances called endorphins.

When it comes to mental and emotional health, laughing does more than just temporarily improve your overall sense of well-being. Regular laughter also improves memory, increases creativity and reduces stress and anxiety.  Laughter with your family and among friends deepens social bonds and promotes feelings of connection and wholeness. Families that laugh together are also better equipped to face challenges together.

In life, when we approach our problems with humility and a sense of humor, it makes solutions easier to find.  Feeling blue? Take ten minutes to focus on all you are grateful for.  Soon, you’ll be smiling and feeling more blessed and optimistic.  If you really need a boost, think back to the last time you laughed so hard it hurt.  Relive that moment in your mind and smile – or laugh!

The next time you start to feel like you are coming down with something; take a day to rest and watch a series of funny movies or read a hilarious book. You’ll find that rest combined with laughter will make you feel better faster.  Often we push ourselves beyond our limits, creating stress in the body that taxes our immunity and leads to illness.

If your job is stressful and you feel the pressure of multiple demands; take some time each day to find something that makes you smile.  Laugh with your loved ones and bond with them.  This keeps things in perspective and benefits everyone in the household.  Try to leave the stress of work outside of the home as much as possible.  Home should feel like a respite and a place where everyone can relax at the end of the day.

Feeling tense while at work? Take a quick break and look at something endearing or funny.  The internet is buzzing with silly memes all the time. Most people know that a little humor throughout the day goes a long way towards increasing productivity and reducing stress and anxiety.

Bring items into your workspace or home that remind you to approach life with a light heart and open mind.  Simple things like a punch of bright color on a dreary day or the warm glow of a candle at night can elicit a smile and bring feelings of comfort.  Create a space that is welcoming and harmonious, share this space often with loved ones and family.  Laughter and joy in the home create a healing space that benefits all who enter.