Laughter Really is the Best Medicine: For Physical, Mental, and Social Health


Remember, you are joy. You are not guilt, trouble, despair, pain, or frustration. On the other hand, laughter helps reduce conflict and confusion in life, overcoming those negative emotions, and brings great joy.

You’ve heard the title phrase before, “Laughter is the best medicine.” It’s become a cliché – but only because it’s true. Multiple studies and research have shown that laughter can boost your immune system, decrease physical pain, lower stress hormones, relax your muscles, and improve the function and blood flow of your vessels to help prevent heart disease. It can ease anxiety and fear, improve your mood, make you more resilient, strengthen your relationships with others, and make you more attractive and appealing. Laughter helps reduce conflict and confusion in life and brings great joy.

So, if you want to be healthy and happy – laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. The benefits of laughter affect us in so many ways: physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and spiritually, and it’s such a simple thing to do.

Physical health benefits of laughter

  • Boosts immune system function
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental health benefits of laughter

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and tension
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Strengthens resilience

Social benefits of laughter

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

Plus – laughing is great fun!

Books, TV shows, and movies allow us to momentarily escape from our own lives and find the humor and laughter in someone else’s life, whether real or imaginative. Often, it’s easier to laugh at another’s situation than it is at our own, granted we’re not laughing at someone else’s expense and misfortune, because that’s not very kind. (See my post on Kindness.)

Laughing at a situation that is removed from us personally, a visceral experience in a book, TV show or movie, can help us recognize similar experiences in our own life and give us permission to laugh at them too. It helps us to not take ourselves too seriously and, there is great strength and joy that comes from learning to laugh at ourselves.

I’d love to share more of my thoughts on laughter and the power it has to bring joy into your life. In fact, I go quite a bit deeper in sharing the power of laughter in my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living. Pick up a copy today and let me know how the steps I outline in it have helped you experience more joy.

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