Laughter is the best medicine
This year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from March 26 to April 20. We went to a show last night based on a recommendation. The guy was hilarious. I understand Australian’s love their profanity, but he wasn’t too bad. I have a strict no profanity tolerance as I find it not only inappropriate but also ignorant. Thus, I have never been to a comedy show for fear of distaste. The guy was hysterical and I didn’t take any of what he had to say personally. He made a joke about trying to find a room to rent in Melbourne and the house was ‘vegetarian friendly’. I could have been offended and walked out disappointed, and maybe I would have at a different point in my life. Last night however, I left the show wishing that I could go to comedy shows on a weekly basis. My cheeks were in pain and I think I acquired a few more smile lines on my face.
The benefits of laughter should be obvious, it makes us happy! Here are some more reasons to get your humor on:
- Improves your mood and minimizes depression and anxiety. Laughter increases endorphins and serotonin which increase energy levels.
- Increases intimacy while improving your social skills. You’re 30 times more likely to laugh with others than by yourself.
- Strengthens your immune system. Laughing boosts your immunological responses keeping you healthy.
- Activates and relieves stress response. Stress hormones decrease during a laughing spell.
- Reduces pain by relaxing the muscles.
- Helps you cope. Responding to feelings of helplessness with laughter puts your mind, body, and spirit at ease.
- Improves blood circulation and blood pressure. Laughter increases oxygenation of the blood which boosts cardiovascular health.
- Considered aerobic exercise. Research has shown laughing 100 times is equivalent to 15 minutes on a stationary bike!
- Positively affects blood glucose (sugar) levels. That is not a reason to grab a doughnut!
- Reduces tension and aggression. Lighten the mood and tell a joke.
- Improves functioning of abdominal organs. Every time you laugh you massage your abdominal organs improving things like digestion.
- Improves youthfulness. You are exercising over 15 facial muscles each time you laugh. It’s like a mini face lift!
- Stimulates heart, brain, and lungs.
Bottom line, I have to keep telling myself not to take life too seriously. I need to find humor in difficult situations and let it go (ahh I love Frozen). Unfortunately I can’t control everything in life and that’s alright.
I am reminded of the time my younger sister and I were still living at home and after a night out we would sit together watching America’s Funniest Videos. We would laugh until we were crying and then go to bed. That is how every night should end. Laughing is free medicine and has no limits. Laughter is contagious. We are not taught to laugh. Laughter is as natural as breathing.
“Laugh every day, you’ll find that your mood will improve, your relationships with others will seem more meaningful and effortless, and life’s hurdles won’t seem so daunting.”-Dr. Cynthia Thaik