Most of us have probably heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Well, we really believe it! Laughter has, in fact, been proven to be a wonderful way to help us through stressful times, but in addition to boosting your mood and making you feel mentally better, studies have shown that laughter can actually stimulate positive, physiological responses that help your body fight disease, repair vital organs, foster brain connectivity, and much more! Because of this amazing fact, we’d like to recommend some ways you can start creating more situations in your life that bring you laughter.
First, however, a quick physiology lesson. We think it’s important to know how your body works and why something like laughter has so many great benefits.
“Happy” Hormones - Are you familiar with endorphins? They are often referred to as one of our “happy” hormones, along with dopamine and serotonin. When you find yourself laughing with friends or watching a funny show endorphins are being released in your brain through opioid receptors. This reduces stress, and that is a very good thing, if for nothing else than the fact that lowering stress has been proven to reduce the risk of many illnesses, for example heart disease.
Happy Heart - Laughter is an effective way to strengthen your heart and circulatory system. Studies have linked laughter to reduced artery inflammation, decreased stress hormones, and increased “HDL” (good cholesterol). It has also been linked to reduced blood pressure by stimulating the expansion of the inner lining of the blood vessels.
Happy Immune System - Laughter is a great immune booster. Stress is notorious for wearing down our immune system, but, since laughter is such a great stress reducer, it stands to reason that it can that it can also keep us healthy.
Happy Muscles – Laughter, believe it or not, is a great workout! When you laugh it exercises your muscles and it gets your blood flowing. Of course, this does not mean laughter is a replacement for normal exercise, but it’s definitely not a bad option for a warm-up in your routine!
Happy Self – Finding time to laugh can reduce the risk of depression. Research has shown that laughter, in addition to releasing endorphins, also causes the release of serotonin, the hormone targeted by most antidepressants.
Happy Relationships – Laughter, as we all know, makes us feel more connected to our friends and family. But did you know that when we laugh with each other, the release of endorphins in each person actually reinforces that sense of fellowship, intimacy, and security on a neurological level through our memories. These memories then help us fight feelings of loneliness, stress, and depression.
Now, here are some simple ways to add more joy and laughter to your life!
Surround yourself with lighthearted and fun people! When you are constantly around people who don’t take themselves too seriously, you will find yourself loosening up and acting a little more silly. There’s nothing better than being able to just let go and have a great time. Say or do something silly! Sing loudly! Dance! These are all things that can make you and your loved one’s laugh.
Joke around! August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day, and we want to encourage you to celebrate! Find some good ones, share them on social media, or simply try them on a friend! Who knows! Maybe you’ll get yourself a Netflix comedy special someday!
Watch something funny! So maybe you don’t have the chops to cut it as a professional comedian. Let’s face it. Some people were born for it. So find something that pushes your giggle button! Movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, or even cat videos on Instagram could be just the thing you need.
Diffuse Young Living’s Joy essential oil or apply it topically on your wrist or the back of your neck. It smells amazing and will help you throughout the day.
Find time to be around kids and pets. You know what we mean. While caring for your children or pets is very important, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just hilarious to watch them figure things out. And when it comes to your children, as they too learn the joy of laughter, being able to laugh with them can be one of the greatest joys of life. Even if your family is far away, try scrolling through old photos and videos. Sometimes that’s all you need to remind you of the hilarious memories that will lift up your spirits.
Laughter brings joy and connection to our lives as well as lasting health benefits. We truly believe it is one of the greatest forms of natural medicine, just like healthy food and essential oils. It is also one of the simplest ways to heal our souls. While life can be hard, we challenge you to fight for joy through laughter. Find the things that make you laugh and cultivate them. You won’t regret it!