By Trailer screenshot (Mary Poppins Trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In the Disney movie “Mary Poppins”, there’s a song called “I Love to Laugh.” In it the singer describes how he loves to laugh (ha ha) and how much joy laughing brings him. So much joy that he actually floats to the ceiling.
In this post I am going to be talking about laughing and how it can help you, me, everybody, manage stress and anxiety better. You’ve probably heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine, but is that true or are the people who are saying it just trying to put the wool over your eyes?
I myself love to laugh, especially after a good joke. A lot of the time if I’m really bored or really sad and have nothing else to do with my life, I watch some videos of comedians like Jerry Seinfield or Russel Peters, heck sometimes both; they always give me a good laugh.
Small warning Russel Peters makes a lot of adult jokes so be ready for that.
Anyone who has had a good laughing session can tell you that during and after their chuckles, they feel really good. It doesn’t matter what happened before, your boss could have been giving you hard time about a report you wrote, your landlord might have asked you why your rent is late again, your significant other may have gotten mad at you for not taking out the trash for the 5th time in a row and you had a big fight; but after a good long laugh you feel a lot better, I can attest to that.
Of course I won’t just leave it there though; I will present evidence to support my argument.
I present exhibit A, an article from mayoclinic.org titled, “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke.” In it they talk about the benefits of laughter and even how to improve your sense of humor. They divide the benefits of laughter into short term benefits and long term benefits.
The short term benefits they talk about are:
- It stimulates your organs
- It fires up and cools down your stress response which leaves you with a relaxed feeling at the end
- It helps soothe tension and relax your muscles.
The long term benefits they mention are:
- It improves your immune system
- It relieves pain
- It increases personal satisfaction
- It improves your overall mood
In order to improve your sense of humor, they give some pretty good advice:
- Try to surround yourself with things that would give a good laugh like funny pictures, posters, comedy movies, etc.
- Try to find a way to laugh at your own situations. This is more of mind-set thing and will take some time, but if you can learn to do this, it will help you out in the long run.
- Try to make friends who make you laugh and hang out with them more often.
- Try to find some joke books and give them a good read.
- Try to learn what isn’t funny. There are some things which may seem funny but are actually just plain hurtful. Learn the difference between being funny and being a jerk who thinks things are funny
Then of course, we have exhibit B: this article comes from helpguide.org and is titled, “Laughter is the best medicine, The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter.” Just like the previous article they talk about the benefits laughter has for your health, but they go into a lot more detail about the entire thing. If you want an in-depth look into how laughter is good for you then you should check it out.
I’ll conclude the post with this: laughter isn’t the best medicine (there are some things even a good laugh can’t fix) but it is damn good medicine and it’s one you don’t need a prescription for; so go ahead and overdose on laughter, by the end of it you’ll have a big smile on your face!