There’s nothing quite like a funny movie or good joke to change your mood from sadness to elation.
Laughter is truly a universal language shared among people of all nationalities, ages, and socio-economic statuses. With laughter, you can quickly transition into another state of mind.
Here are some interesting facts about laughter you may not know:
- Your brain recognizes fake laughter from real laughter. It immediately goes into overdrive when you engage in a fake laughing session as it tries to process the reason for the staged laugh.
- Jokes are funnier when told by someone you know and respect. Say your best friend tells you a joke and messes up the punch line. Well, the delivery of the joke and its resulting failure will likely be funnier than the joke itself. Either way, the joke will come across as entertaining and memorable because of how it bombed – and family and friends usually recount that failed joke for years to come.
- Researchers say that laughter can help you lose weight, keep your memory sharp and make you look more beautiful.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though! For someone coping with a chronic illness, laughter can turn out to be the best medicine after all. Here’s why:
Laughter is a Natural Painkiller
Watching comedies or sit-coms help soothe you when you are in pain because laughing releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the brain and distributed to different parts of the body. When endorphins interact in the body, stress levels are reduced in a way similar to the effects of morphine (but in a non-addictive way). It’s the body’s way of helping you heal from pain and stress. So laugh on.
Laughter Relaxes You
Laughing relaxes your muscles, especially those of the abdomen and heart. Of course, if you laugh to the point of crying, you exercise more muscles, which can relax you just as an adrenalized workout improves your mental state and eases stress. According to doctors, when a person laughs, he increases the flow of oxygen in the body. Tension and stress are usually accompanied by lack of oxygen.
Laughter Improves Digestion and Makes You Sleep Better
Have you ever heard about laughter yoga? It is a method of yoga used to improve your breathing techniques while laughing so you digest properly, in turn helping you sleep soundly.
Laughter yoga is also a technique for massaging your internal organs so they function better. It exercises the diaphragm, heart, and stomach muscles and allows for the secretion of hormones that can help you digest, sleep, relax, and reduce stress and pain.
So, if you’re coping with a chronic illness, go ahead and have a good laugh every single day! Not only will you feel less pain and greater relaxation, you’ll be happier too. Laughter is truly a chronic illness warrior’s best friend.