Laughter Can Benefit Your Health

by Vonnie Woodrick

They say laughter is the best medicine.

A good laugh can do wonders for our physical, emotional and mental
well-being. Many of us don’t experience that loud snorting, belly moving, good laugh that brings tears to our eyes. When we are stressed, grieving or overwhelmed with work, school, or whatever else may be happening in our lives, the last thing we want to do is laugh.

There was a time after I lost my husband to depression that I just couldn’t find it in me to laugh. I wanted to, but I felt too guilty. Sixteen years later, the guilt still follows. I’m fortunate enough to have one friend who had the ability to make me laugh when all I wanted to do way cry. That was a true gift.

I have experienced the healing power of laughter first hand. In my opinion, it may have the equivalent impact that hugs have — there is not much in the world that can compare to a hearty laugh or a strong hug to make you feel genuinely loved.

According to helpguide.org, laughter can improve your health. Did you know that a laugh can relieve physical tension and stress for up to 45 minutes? Did you know that laughter protects your heart by increasing blood flow and reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems? If you laugh for up to 15 minutes a day you’ll burn calories, which could lead you to dropping a few pounds by the end of the year!

When I am going throughout my day, I can’t help but smile when I hear laughter and wonder what are they laughing about. Personally, sharing laughter makes me feel closer to others. Have you ever noticed that when you really laugh at a friend’s joke or story, that they join in and you feel more connected?

Often times when someone is searching for their soul mate, they are asked – what are you looking for in a partner? Often times the answer is, “Someone who makes me laugh.” It’s proven that couples who laugh together, stay together longer.

I read once a long time ago that we all have the ability to change our attitudes and find a bit of laughter each day, even if we are alone. Give it a try: find a funny video on the internet or just smile to yourself. Do you feel a little bit better?

If smiling didn’t bring you some laughter, maybe these jokes will make you laugh or at least give you something to smile about:

What is the best day to go to the beach?
Sunday

What bow cannot be tied?
Rainbow

How many tickles does it take to make an Octopus laugh?
Ten-tickles

I hope these jokes brought a smile to your face as they did to mine! Loosen up and laugh; tell a joke or better yet, make someone else laugh, it could just be the medicine they needed today.


 Vonnie Woodrick is the founder of i understand, a nonprofit offering compassionate comfort to those affected by suicide and mental illness. For more information, visit iunderstandloveheals.org. 

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