Laugh for the Health of It

  Kelly Murray, Wellness Coordinator

 

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? To get to the other side! I know, I know. Bad joke.  Did my corny joke get you to laugh? If not, keep reading and find a few ways to add more laughter in to your life, because April is National Humor Month! It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. Doctors and surgeons use laughter to help distract patients from pain, and laughter therapy is used to help people living with cancer. Laughing has been shown to have many health benefits, including stress relief. So take a break from working or stressing over your taxes this month, and laugh for the health of it!

Health Benefits of Laughter

  • Increases blood flow
  • Increases oxygen intake
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Improves alertness, creativity, and memory
  • Improves heart health
  • Triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers)
  • Helps relieve pain and stress
  • Good abdominal workout

Wow. All that can happen just from laughing? All those benefits are great for your body, both physically and mentally. If you think about it, how often do you laugh during a typical day? Maybe a few times here and there. How can you add more laughter in to your day in order to reap all of these great benefits? Here are a few tips on how to laugh more.

Add More Laughter to Your Life

  • Go out and be around people. Laughter is contagious. If someone else starts laughing, we normally start laughing too!
  • Watch a funny video online. Maybe it’s a video of cute funny animals, or people doing funny things. If you don’t have time to watch a full episode of America Funniest Home videos, you can pull up a short 2 minute video on youtube.
  • Learn to Laugh at yourself. Instead of being embarrassed about something that you did, find the humor in it. Share the story with friends and instead of laughing at you, they will be laughing with you.
  • Laugh at others (within reason of course). Did you just see someone trip on the sidewalk? Instead of leaving them to feel embarrassed about it, help them laugh it off. If you start laughing about it, they might be able to laugh about their silly mistake too. If they are still laying on the ground, give them a hand and help them up.
  • Read the Comic section of the newspaper.
  • Learn a few jokes. They can be great conversation starters, or help to break the awkward silence.
  • Watch a comedy tv show or movie instead of the news or a serious drama.
  • Actively look for a laugh everyday. Take a look around you to enjoy life, and find something to laugh about.