Laughter is Beneficial To Your Mental Health and Health Overall
Have you ever finished watching a funny video and had such a good laugh that once you were done, you couldn’t remember what you were previously worried about, or you were overall just in a better mood? Well, that’s because laughter is considered a natural medicine for the body. Research has shown that laughter is medicine that can be used to change the mental and physical well-being of people.
Take for example a person with depression. Their neurotransmitters in the brain, such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, are reduced, and there is something wrong in the mood control circuit of the brain. Laughter can alter dopamine and serotonin activity, consequently increasing a person’s mood. Laughter is so beneficial for mental health that psychologists have figured out ways to incorporate it into therapy. Laughter therapy, as a non-pharmacological, alternative treatment, has a positive effect on the mental health and the immune system. Robinson, Smith, & Segal, (2018) identified various ways that laughter can improve a person’s mental and physical health, as well as the social benefits.
Physical health benefits of laughter:
- Boosts immunity
- 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
There are various ways to bring laughter into your life such as doing something silly, sharing a good joke or funny story, hosting a game night, playing with a pet, watching a funny movie or (a very common activity today) watching funny videos. In the recent times online funny videos have acquired huge popularity, therefore offering a wide range of funny videos available online. You can find funny videos anywhere to bring a laugh to your day; Youtube channels, Instagram, Twitter, etc. You can also find funny videos on websites dedicated to bringing laughter to your day like dailyhaha.com, funnyordie.com, and ebaumsworld.com. By watching funny videos, you can choose whatever brings you the most laughter and discover new content that makes you laugh.
Try Not to Laugh Challenge
There are various challenges that become popular in the media; some examples being the cinnamon challenge, ice bucket challenge, lemon challenge, and more currently the try not to laugh challenge. This challenge is safe and can bring laughter to your day! The rules of the try not to laugh challenge is to watch a funny video and not to laugh, chuckle or even grin. If you do you lose! The person choosing the funny video can be anything from a prank video, impression videos, video compilations, to stand-up comedy clips. You can also watch other people online fail or win the try not to laugh challenge, which can also be a funny video in itself to enjoy. So choose a friend, co-worker, family member, and see if they can beat the try not to laugh challenge.
Happy laughter and happy health!
- Robinson, Smith, & Segal. (2018). Laughter is the Best Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm/
- Yim. (2016). Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter in Mental Health: A Theoretical Review. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27439375
Written by Dr. Grand McDonald, PsyD.