Laughter is strong medicine

Both humor and laughter have significant health benefits! Laughter has been shown to promote positive physical and emotional changes in your body and can help you keep a positive, optimistic attitude through difficult challenges, disappointments and loss. Illness and chronic disease often have a negative effect on your mood and attitude.  Caregivers as well as patients are at a high risk of getting sick, feeling stressed, afraid or hopeless. Laughter has the potential to relieve stress in both patients and medical professionals. Humor can affect your emotional health as it connects you to others, adds joy to your life, lightens your burdens, strengthens your resilience and inspires hope. Laughter also helps create and strengthen relationships, enhances teamwork and collaboration, defuses conflict and stress and promotes bonding.

Laughter has been shown to stimulate your lungs, reduce stress hormones, increase endorphins, strengthen your immune system, reduce pain, relax your body and even increase your blood flow. According to Dr. Howard Bennett at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, “Humor gives patients the opportunity to forget about their anxiety and pain. When physicians share humor with patients they open lines of communication that encourage patients to discuss difficult issues.”

So take some time to laugh. Seek out your playful friends. Watch a funny movie. Go play miniature golf. Sing at Karoke. Go bowling.  Read a joke book. Hang out with children and find your inner child. Dance. Do something silly! You’ll feel better for it!