According to the American Institute of Stress stats, around 77% people experience stress that not just impacts their mental health but also their physical wellbeing.
It can cause sleeplessness, impact your daily activities, and might even be disturbing to those around you.
So in case you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, know that you are not alone.
There are ways to deal with your situation, and alongside seeing a therapist, why not investigate the surprising health and stress-relieving benefits of laughter?
You can just laugh heartily while chatting with a friend or by watching a comedy film or television show to relieve some of your stress.
Still not convinced?
Read on to learn more about the health benefits of laughter and how it can help you relieve stress.
The Science Behind Laughter
There’s an old adage that says laughter is the best medicine, and there’s some truth to it.
But what exactly is laughter?
Simply put, laughing is an auditory expression of a variety of positive emotional states such as joy, happiness, or relief.
It is a part of human language that everyone understands, whether it is a small child’s giggles or the loud laughter of an elderly person.
It is an unconscious response that, while it can be learned voluntarily, only occurs when we are not trying.
Health benefits of laughter
Laughter relieves stress, strengthens the immune system, and protects the heart.
The science behind this is that when you laugh, your body’s natural feel-good chemicals known as the endorphins are released which promote an overall sense of well-being, while the flow of blood vessels that improve with the act of laughing boosts your cardiac health.
Laughter’s Role in mental well-being
There are numerous health benefits of laughter that a lot of us often underestimate.
Laughter seizes distressing emotions
Now, if you are a normal person who occasionally laughs at something, you will notice that when you laugh, you temporarily forget about the distressing things.
You’re just focused on what’s making you laugh, and for a brief moment, everything feels better.
That is the strength of laughter.
It alleviates stress by providing a break from negative emotions and giving you a boost of positivity.
Laughter can shift perspectives
Laughter has the power to shift perspectives.
It is simple to understand; notice how the same theme can be illustrated in both a comedy and a serious TV show.
Consider the experience of having a bad day at work; you’ve probably seen it in a film depicting an apparently unlucky lonely man or in a comedy series like FRIENDS.
While the circumstances are similar in both cases, the responses are not.
Dark humor is an excellent example of how laughter can alter one’s perspective; you are finding some serious issues so amusing that you are openly discussing them while laughing, which would otherwise have caused you a lot more stress.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge
Another great way laughter helps your mental health is by allowing you to relax and recharge, especially on days when you feel a little… meh.
Simply laughing with your friends or watching a funny TV show will leave you feeling relaxed and recharged.
Incorporating laughter into daily life
Now that you have learned the many benefits of laughter for stress relief and health, it’s time to incorporate some in your daily life.
Here are some easy-peasy ways to create opportunities for laughter in your everyday life.
Read something funny. Buy yourself a funny book or a novel and read those funny pages when you are in need of a good laugh.
Seek out funny people. Some people are just funnier than others.
Seek out the clowns of your circle and spend some time laughing with them.
Watch a funny TV show or a movie. There are a ton of options when it comes to good comedy shows and movies ranging from The Office to FRIENDS and others.
Watch them for some good laughter.
Let us just take a moment to acknowledge the role the internet can play in making you laugh. Windstream Internet plans, for example, are a great help in providing you with a nonstop streaming experience of your favorite comedy shows and movies, so you don’t have to worry about staying connected while having a good time.
This is because of their superfast speeds and reliability that you can count on.
Go to a “laughter therapy” session: Yes you heard that right.
People have become aware of the potent therapeutic effects of laughter and have incorporated it into their therapy sessions, such as with laughter yoga.
A day without laughter is a day wasted.
So incorporate some laughter in your daily life and notice the amazing benefits it has for stress relief and your overall health.