8 Health Benefits of Laughter – Laughter Therapy

Overview

Everyone knows this old saying ‘ Laughter is the best Medicine. Everyone knows how effective and beneficial is laughter therapy. It is itself a magical tool to support physical, mental health and emotional health.

Everyone’s daily life is messed up either personally or professionally. A good laugh act as therapy 

or medicine in dealing with stress and worries. If you want to have a peaceful life and want to make yourself cheerful, and happy, and don’t want to struggle with negativity, surround yourself with people who make you laugh.

Happiness in life depends upon the quality of thoughts and the people that you surround yourself with. Surrounding yourself and spending time with people who make you laugh and cheerfully make your life easy. As well as it helps distract from sadness, grief, anxiety, and depression.

If someone is making you laugh thank them. Because they are doing you a favor by relaxing your body and mind and making you feel good and happy. Laughter is exactly proportional to the healing of body, mind, and soul.

health benefits of laughter
health benefits of laughter

Laughter Yoga / Laughter Therapy 

Developed by Indian physician Dr. Madan Kataria laughter yoga is practiced in many countries worldwide. It is the combination of laughter exercises with yoga that brings happiness, reduces stress, and anxiety, and reduces the risk of diseases.

These days, busy lives, hectic schedules, and stress on both the personal and professional front are disturbing both physical and mental health. Laughter yoga / Laughter therapy is an alternative to deal with them. It is a mindfully based practice that provides magnificent health benefits and a positive impact on the body.

Laughter yoga is practiced in groups usually at places like a college campus, parks, and clubs. You might have observed senior citizens practicing laughter yoga at parks in the morning/evening. However, laughter yoga can be practiced alone too. These days, laughter yoga classes are also available where yoga is taught and practiced by a large group of people.

The technique includes simple breathing exercises, clapping hands, and chanting loudly ha–ha–ha. Yes, it might look silly or odd to youngsters or even to the people who are practicing it at first glance or while doing it for the first time.  

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But the results post sessions of laughter yoga are tremendous. It not only releases stress but also makes you feel happy, calm, relaxed, and peaceful. The sessions are simple, easy, and fun to do.

Laughter yoga has recently become very popular and is practiced religiously worldwide. It is a non pharmacological treatment modality that helps in improving quality of life.

 

8 Health Benefits of Laughter – Laughter Therapy

1. Link between laughter and physical health 

Laughter is an exercise/therapy that leads to immediate positive health benefits over the entire body. It relaxes the entire body and keeps the muscles relaxed for a long duration. It increases blood flow, improves circulation, and releases happy hormones in the body.

You could feel the change in your body once you start laughter therapy/laughter yoga sessions, binge a good comedy movie/comedy web series, and surround yourself with people who make you laugh.

Only 15 minutes of good laughter every day could bring a miraculous change in your entire body. From boosting immunity to relaxing muscles of the body laughter promotes overall well-being and improves the quality of life.

 

laughter and physical health
laughter and physical health

2. Link between laughter and Mental health 

Laughter improves mental health and promotes overall mental well-being. It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, negative thoughts, and anger.

In the current scenario, mental health is most affected among people. The tough competition at all levels in school, college, and offices has lead to a negative impact on mental health.

Laughter therapy is a stress buster. Stress increases heart rate and blood pressure and disturbs physical health. A good laugh decreases stress and improver heart rate, and blood pressure and stimulates good blood circulation.

 

3 . Good Heart Health

Protects from various heart-related diseases like heart attack  

Laughter therapy reduces anxiety and tension and improves mood by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that are released from the brain. They improve mode, reduce stress, and are also helpful in reducing pain. They also prevent depression and body aches.

Whenever negative thoughts or negative emotions are triggered, there is most likely the development of physical pain and mental pain. Laughing soothes not only physical pain but also mental pain. It’s not easy to laugh in negative situations thus it is advised to look up some alternatives like binge-watching some comedy series or films, or reading books.

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4. Boosts Immune System 

Laughter therapy boosts the immune system. It helps the body fight against infections and strengthens the entire body by improving immunity.

A good laugh/laughter therapy/laughter yoga decreases the stress hormones thus improving the resistance of the body to fight against diseases.

Laughter is a therapy that has the power to kick out negative emotions within a few seconds. It’s very simple to laugh since laughing is contagious. Try it by spending some time with people who are fun or bringing humor or happiness into the conversation and seeing the magic.

 

5. Laughter therapy and Burning of Calories 

Yes, this might sound odd. But laughter does burn some calories. Just a few minutes of laughter a day burns 10 to 40 calories a day.

Laughing causes a rise in heart rate. Increased heart rate lead to a good metabolism and the result is the burning of calories. Laughing for only 10-15 minutes day burn calories and help in building a healthy lifestyle.

Laughter therapy and Burning of Calories
Laughter therapy and Burning of Calories

 

6. Laughter Therapy Relieves Pain 

According to research, presented at European Pain Federation Congress in Florence, Italy it was reported Laughter helps in relieving chronic pain. As per the reports, laughter helps in tolerating pain and improves the quality of life.

As per the explanation, it is because laughter helps in releasing the chemical endorphins (the feel-good chemical ) that relieve the tension in muscles and reduce both physical and mental pain to some extent.

Laughter is the best pain-relieving medicine. It helps in distracting yourself from pain and provides proven health benefits.

 

7. Laughter and Social Relationships 

Laughter therapy could strengthen the bond between family, friends, siblings, or other social relationships. If you are surrounded by people who give you good laughs or laugh with you consider them a blessing in your life.

Laughing together not only strengthen relationship but also brings emotional connection. Be a person with an easy laugh / Marry a woman with an easy laugh / Communicate with people with an easy laugh is the most common advice that could be heard.

Laughter encourages family bonding and group bonding. It brings people together and brings a strong and long-lasting relationship. A happy-go-lucky person is everyone’s favorite.

Sharing a good laugh with friends or family members is fresh and exciting. It improves the quality of relationships and connections. It is the most effective and inexpensive therapy that add joy and happiness to life.

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Laughter and Social Relationships
Laughter and Social Relationships

8. Improves Quality of life – Brings A sense of well-being

Laughter is free of cost and it always smiles as if it costs nothing. Laughter brings physical, mental, and social benefits thus leading to a sense of well-being. The sense of well-being at all levels and in daily life improves the quality of life.

Funny moments in life release feel-good chemicals and help in coping with life and negative emotions.

Thus focus on laughing alone or with your people to have a good and happy life.

 

How to Laugh More

Some ways by which you can bring laughter into life and enjoy a happy and healthy life are –

  1. Join some club/park / social group and practice laughter yoga.
  2. Cherish the funny moments and funny memories of the past.
  3. Read the funny stories from books/comics.
  4. Binge on some funny web series/movie.
  5. Make friends with a happy-go-lucky person.
  6. Laugh with small kids/child
  7. Play with your pet.

 

Conclusion

Self-care is important, keeping yourself happy and healthy is important, thinking of yourself as a priority, and keeping your physical and mental health at bay is important.

Thus, laughing is important. If you feel you are surrounded by negative emotions and not able to uplift your mood or have a good laugh even after trying to seek professional help from a therapist or doctor.

 

Dr Jyotsana Anand
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