Laugh Your Way to Less Stress
I laugh often. Sometimes I laugh with myself, and I often laugh with other people. My favorite source humor includes funny lyrics to some favorite songs and children’s jokes.
Since I like laughing and look for reasons to laugh, I wasn’t surprised to learn that laughing can reduce stress and anxiety. I was, however, surprised and pleased to learn that laughing can be helpful whether or not it’s authentic. Yes, some say you can benefit from laughter even when there’s nothing to laugh at.
In addition to reducing stress, research also suggests other benefits of laughing:
- Laughing relaxes the face muscles.
- It can increase beneficial antibodies which improve immunity.
- Laughing can distract us from unpleasant emotions. Overuse of distraction can turn into unhelpful avoidance, but a brief distraction can create needed distance from intense emotion and create space for new perspective.
- Laughing creates connection. When we laugh with others, we feel a connected. When we smile at someone, often the smile is returned. Some therapies explain the natural human urge that it is part of the emotions silliness, joy, and happiness is to reach out and share.
- Laughter, easy humor, or smile can also ease an uncomfortable situation.