Wellness

How to laugh more every day and why it’s so healthy

Laughter might not be on your self-care list. But it should! Laughter is good for mood, mental health, heart health, and more. Do you need another reason to laugh right now?

You may have heard that old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Well, it turns out there really is some medical merit to a good laugh.
Laughter is the physical manifestation of finding something funny. It can help reduce inflammation and stress hormones, improve circulation, and boost the immune system. These claims about laughter are based on evidence published in very serious scientific publications. Laughter also changes brain activity. Research that examined the brain activity of people who laugh has shown that laughter can stimulate healing gamma waves, similar to those seen in long-term meditators, according to a study published April 2020 in the FASEB journal.

6 tips to bring more laughter into your life

To bring fun into your life, you don’t even need to laugh out loud. Simply finding something funny or fun can have the same benefits. Humor allows you to see things in new and unexpected ways. It’s not about making difficult things funny or ignoring pain and suffering, but about allowing yourself to also see the lighter side of life more often as a way to release tension and recharge your own battery. Considering the year we’ve had, we could all enjoy more laughter right now. Especially as the uncertainty of winter approaches.

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Here’s how you can bring more laughter and giggles into your daily life.

1. Don’t worry about being “funny.”

You don’t have to be an actor to laugh more. Humor is not a talent, it’s a habit. Don’t worry so much about being smart or funny, but rather getting into the habit of seeing humor in everyday situations. For example, if you spill your coffee, laugh with the person you’re with. Everything in life can be drama, horror, or comedy. How many times do you watch this as a comedy? he says. A good place to start: Laugh, laugh, laugh. If you find something funny, don’t hold back and just smile to yourself. It may seem fake at first, but after a while you’ll break free and naturally laugh more often and louder than before. The more you play with humor, the better you get.

2. Build your comedy collection

Go on social media and follow and like as many pages as possible that make you laugh. So that humor appears more often in your feeds. Dust off your film library and make your top 15 best comedy movies that make you laugh every time.

3. Pause for laughs

Set an alarm on your phone for a “pleasure break”. A study published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Business and Psychology showed that a well-planned 15-minute humor break can boost productivity. Start with five minutes. Watch something funny (like a YouTube video or a clip from a late-night TV show), then set off a second alarm to tell you to get back to work.

4. Laugh with the “3 funny things” exercise

You’ve heard of the power of a gratitude journal, in which you write down three (or more) good things that happened today. A humor journal can be just as impactful. A study published in May 2018 in Frontiers in Psychology showed that people who, at the end of the day, reflected and wrote down three funny things that happened during the day for a week decreased symptoms of depression and increased overall happiness during a period of up to six months. A humor diary trains you to see humor in real time.

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5. Laugh for more

Humor can promote learning by creating an emotional connection that strengthens memory and therefore can help you understand and retain information. The stress hormone cortisol damages the area of ​​the brain that plays a role in learning and memory (the hippocampus). But laughter helps repair that damage and facilitates the formation of new memories, according to research published in the Spring 2014 issue of Advances in Mind-Body Medicine.

6. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself

Laughing at yourself helps to put mistakes into perspective, to face difficulties and to overcome misfortunes. Teach yourself how to do it with a game. When a mildly stressful event happens and you react by being short with someone or stressed, think about how you could have handled it with more humor or lightness . It trains your brain to see the humor in difficult situations, and it teaches you to let go of some of your stress.

Sources

https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.2020.34.s1.02303

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00821/full

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24682001/

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/advan.00030.2017

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