Laughing feels good; no one can deny this, except perhaps the occasional accompanying muscle cramp caused by laughing for long periods of time. Laughing releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good drug. This is likely why good humour is so sought after, and why stand-up comedy is one of the only careers you don’t need to become officially certified in.
Laughter improves your mental well-being
Laughing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to diffuse anxiety. You could even say it is the opposite of being in an anxious state. Laughter dilutes the seriousness of our worries, and creates a more calm space for us to then tackle our challenges from a centred state of mind. Stress is one of the biggest drainages of both mental and physical energy, and can actually shorten your lifespan if left unchecked. The good news is that laughter can in fact increase your lifespan by increasing energy and lifting your mood. If your mental health is in good shape, then you are likely to manage your physical health in a more conscious way.
Laughter improves your physical health
Not only does laughter release endorphins, but a long, whole-hearted laugh can decrease muscle tension, which can leave your muscles relaxed for up to forty-five minutes. There is a great deal of truth behind the expression, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter can, in fact, boost your immune system, increasing immune cells and antibodies which keep you physically fit to ward off disease and infection. Laughter also lowers blood pressure (in a good sense) which reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks. It can even provide you with a moderate work out: laughing burns nearly the same amount of calories per hour as walking at moderate pace.
Not only is laughter extremely beneficial to your own mental and physical well-being, but it can also be used as a tool for human connection. When you laugh with someone, there is no need for words—there is a deeper connection in that moment that supersedes the need to fill the silence. Laughter can also decrease tension between people, allowing them to be more open to forgiveness rather than judgement.The most common element that comedians share in their skits is the truth behind their jokes. People often laugh at jokes that they can connect and identify with. Being able to laugh at the absurdity of life is what makes it a joy to be alive.
Alicia Feizo has always loved literature and the endless possibilities of using words as creative expression. Her passions include poetry, magic realism and living an authentic life.