Life brings problems and challenges no matter who you are, but your approach to dealing with challenges can literally make or break your emotional health.
Instead of being consumed by the weight of your problems, you can build resilience and improve your mental health with laughter and playfulness. When you take yourself too seriously it can be hard to think differently and find new solutions, yet play and laughter provide opportunities for you to shift your thinking – and your feelings.
Learn how to harness the powerful benefits of laughing and how to bring more laughter into your life.
Laughter as medicine
There is much truth in the saying that “laughter is the best medicine”, and nothing works faster or more reliably to ease tension, change your mood, and bring your mind and body back into harmony.
Furthermore, it doesn’t cost a thing, everyone can do it (even on your own), and there are no bad side effects.
The power of laughter
Laughter has many health and social benefits and can improve both your physical and mental wellbeing.
So what’s not to love about something so simple?! Let’s explore why laughter is so good for you.
The benefits of laughter:
- Improves mood instantly
- Eases tension and anxiety
- Relieves anger and stress
- Releases endorphins (our ‘happy’ hormones)
- Relaxes muscles
- Reduces pain
- Protects the heart from cardiovascular problems
- Lowers stress hormones (which can wreak havoc on your body)
- Boosts immunity
- Creates more joy in life
- Strengthens relationships and friendships
- Attracts other people to us
- Builds resilience
- Harnesses creativity
- Shifts our mindset and outlook to be more positive
Improve your mental health with laughter
There’s no denying that laughter makes you feel good in the moment, however, the positive feelings can remain with you long after the laughter ends. Humour helps you keep a positive outlook through difficult situations, disappointment, and loss, offering optimism and hope.
Regular laughter can make the world of difference to your mental health as it stops distressing emotions and lightens the emotional load. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
And looking at the funny side can put problems in a new light and enable you to move on from conflict or overwhelm without holding onto negative feelings, such as anger or resentment.
You can shift your whole perspective and reconnect with others, allowing you to improve your mental health with laughter, joy, and ease.
How to laugh more
There are opportunities to laugh all around you, you just need to be open to finding them.
You could watch a funny movie or TV programme, search for hilarious YouTube clips, listen to a giggleworthy podcast (tip: search on your iPhone podcast app or the Andriod Stitcher app for your favourite comedians, lots of them have podcasts), go to see a stand-up comedy show or join an improv group yourself, arrange a games night with some friends, or simply spend more time with fun and playful people.
You might want to try a laughter yoga session. Yes, laughter yoga is a real thing! No awkward poses or mat needed, it’s simply a combination of yogic breathing and laughing for no reason whatsoever, other than it’s good for you.
Therapy for mental health issues
Whilst you can use the information in this article to improve your mental health with laughter, be sure to also book in for therapy if you need it.
There’s no shame in needing some extra support to get you out of dark times so please don’t suffer in silence. I’m here to support you on your path to a joyful life, so if you’d like to book a counselling session, you can contact me here.