Laughter is the best medicine.
I think it is safe to say that almost everyone has heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine.”, though some might not understand the science behind the statement. Laughing has always fascinated me, specifically for the effect of it has had in my own life.
In the hardest points of my life laughter was there to carry me through. I even use it as a technique to raise my vibration when I feel myself starting to get stuck in a slump. Weather it is watching stand up, talking to friends or faking some chuckles, it gets the job done. It is no surprise that laughter makes us feel great but it is surprising at how much actual scientific research is being done on the medical effects of laughter.
The mayo clinic put out an article in 2019 titled “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke.” This article goes into detail about the healing effect of laughter both short and long term. Organ stimulation being one of them. The article states that the more you laugh the more you breath. The more you breath, the more oxygen you have in your blood stream. This then causes your organs expand which is basically a work out for your internal body. This is also the same logic behind laughter aiding in heart health. This article also touched on cackling being a pain reliever stating that laugher causes the muscles in the body to relax relieving tension and can cause natural pain relief. American political journalist, author, teacher and world peace advocate Norman Cousins was quoted saying
“I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep. When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval.”
In another article posted by the Henry Ford Health System laughter is said to aid in weight loss. The author speaks to the point that Cortisol, a chemical that stores fat, is produced mainly by stress. Laugher not only burns calories but also releases serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical found naturally in the human body that regulates feeling good and levels of happiness. People who experience depression are often given serotonin as a way to stabilize their moods. The conclusion being the more someone produces serotonin the less the produce cortisol. The article also states that though natural laughter amongst friends is the best way to get the full effect it has also been shown that forced laughter does the trick as well.
In a psychological approach, B.F. skinner is credited for the theory of conditioning. This theory states that the human brain is taught by reward and punishment. It is shown that the endorphins, the chemical in our brain that correspond to reward, are also released by laughter. Because of this and personal practice, I have concluded laughter can be used as a way to train our habits. Say for instance you have a hard time cleaning the house. If every time you did so, it was accompanied by a funny conversation with a friend or listening to a podcast that cracks you up, over time your brain will start to associate the activity of cleaning with one of reward. By doing so not only will your time fly by but you will start to shift your perspective and cleaning will no longer be such a hassle. This method can also be used for any task or subject. Even if you don’t have access to materials that make you laugh you can produce laughter without it. I do this often and ever time it leads to genuine laughter, mostly about how insane I might look but if it works it works.
I think people have a tendency to take life too seriously, myself included. This is why we need laughter as a way to break up the mundane and enhance the wonderful moments in life. Most of all laughter is a way of connection both with amazing people but also with a happy and healthy life. So whatever and who ever makes you laugh find more of it and lean into it, it just might save your life.
Hannah is a Reiki master and part of the Tree of Health Center team. Her focus in life is to teach others that happiness is a choice and to provide the tools needed to achieve the highest levels of joy. She believes that the way to raise the vibration of the planet is to raise the vibration of the individual.