Laughter – Not your Typical Health Tip

They say that laughter is the best medicine.

Hmm… maybe we should look into this further – shall we?

So Exactly How Can We Benefit From Laughter?

Oh the joys of childhood when there weren’t really any stresses to speak of…. When all we had to worry about was when it was time to put away our toys and clean up our room. If we could only keep our stress levels down to that minimum again, wouldn’t that be great?

One of the biggest stresses that plague us is high blood pressure. There are so many things in our lives that can stress us, even the “little” things. Sometimes we just need to learn how to “let go” of those little things.

Did you know?

Did you know that according to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, that “After performing in an improv comedy course, people with Parkinson’s disease showed significant improvement in activities of daily living” Wow, that alone is mind boggling !

So, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then how much more ailments are kept at bay with simply a laugh or two?

While we all know that laughter is contagious, did you also know that it can help tone your abs? Yes, you heard correct. That alone should be more of an incentive for us all to find more ways to have a good laugh.

Also, according to some studies, laughter can also boost immunity, meaning that it may increase our bodies natural killer cells (the white blood cells that attack cancer cells)

Did you also know that from a Health perspective, when you smile or laugh more, you don’t get as many “frown lines” on your face. It actually takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, so imagine what laughing does to your skin.

Now we know that laughter alone will not stave off all our health problems but it can and should be incorporated into our daily healthy living practices.

Ways To Laugh More Often:

  • Watch a comedy -I’m talking a gut laughing comedy with tears rolling down your cheeks
  • Read a favorite comic daily
  • Reward yourself now and then just because (OK, this one will make you smile, but still … 🙂
  • Watch your favorite comedian
  • Find a funny person who can make you laugh and befriend them (some people are just gifted that way)
  • Play fun games with friends

Don’t forget to give yourself permission to just be silly – (We all need to learn to laugh at ourselves more often) and the list goes on and on …..

So how long has it been since you had a good laugh? Do more of that stuff that makes you laugh more!

I am reminded of a quote by George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950:

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

And on an interesting note …..

Let’s take a look at some things that are associated with Laughter.

Did you know there are three different kinds of laughter?

Genuine – You know …. heartfelt 🙂

Spontaneous – Like from being tickled

Simulated – Otherwise “Fake”

The Other Side ….

Did you know that laughter is not always a pleasant experience? Sometimes people have what’s known as “cataplexy” or excessive laughing or unpleasant laughing spells. I would imagine that it would cause the ribs to be quite sore. Reports have been taken from Parkinson s, Multiple Sclerosis and Psuedobulbar Palsy patients to have undesirable sensations when hearing the punch line of a joke that causes them to appear to be laughing out of amusement.

People with schizophrenic psychoses seem to have an adverse effect laughter; they seem to not get any joy out of it and do not understand the humor involved.

So my question is: Where would we all be without it? How would we cope with various life experiences? How would our relationships alone be affected if not for the laughter to make us smile? These are just a few of the concerns that would need to be answered.

Just When You Thought You Heard It All…

It has been documented that:

You can’t surprise yourself by tickling yourself

Adults laugh 15-30 times a day (of course females laugh more) Hmm… wonder why ?

Babies on the other hand – laugh 300 times per day !! (Ah but of course, they haven’t been tainted by the world yet)

Charles Darwin noted in the late 19th century that tickling and laughter is a form of bonding between a parent and a child

Why do we NOT laugh when we hit our “Funny Bone”? Because we’re actually hitting our Ulnar nerve that bumps into our Humerus

Interesting Laugh Quotes to ponder:

“People who stop laughing are always the ones who get hurt.”

― Josh Sundquist, Just Don’t Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”

― Michael Pritchard

“The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.”

― Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip

“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”

― Enid Blyton, Mr Galliano’s Circus

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

― anthony burgess

“Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel loved.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh.

But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.”

― Charlie Chaplin

A Little Bit Goes A Long Way

So all in all, spread a little laughter in your world. Make someone smile that might not have otherwise. Your health may depend on it. Your heart will thank you.

One more thing, I’m reminded of something that Victor Borge once wrote, he said: “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”

With that being said, remember to include laughter in your life ….. because a little goes a Loooooong Way.

16 thoughts on “Laughter – Not your Typical Health Tip”

  1. You make a good point here, as how many children suffer from stress when they are below the age of 10, and you see them laugh often, so there must be something in that.

    I will definitely try and laugh more if it tones your abs. Far better than doing crunches.

    This is the first time I have read about unpleasant laughing spells. How on earth does one get that, or is one born with it?

    1. Thanks for your feedback Mechel, as for the Laughing Spells, it may be that one is born with it, I’m unsure of that – will definitely have to do more research on that one

  2. If laughter is this much beneficial, I wonder why people do not engage in it almost everyday to get better at it. Atleast, I don’t count it though, but I try to have a very great laughter everytime so that I can reach my potentials almost every day. I cannot do without laughing daily. Laughing is my task and I always engage in it daily to save myself. Thank you so much for sharing all these with me, I really appreciate all these, thank you for sharing with us all. Thumbs up

  3. Wow it didn’t realize how impact full laughing can be. That study with the improv group and parkisons is very interesting! Obviously it’s always better to be happy but it can seem very hard to laugh sometimes. It’s so easy to get down by circumstances and situations. But staying happy and keeping a positive attitude is def the better way to go! 

  4. I prefer the normal natural means of Improving our health, this is one thing many people seize to understand because of the nonchalant attitude we pay to our self. Laughter is a good example, it solves almost everything that could be affecting the health, be it stress, brain fatigue and so on. The quotes you attached are also very useful and are full of lessons to be learned. Thanks for sharing.

  5. wow, it is so simple that sometimes we forget all about it. Yes, laughter is a miracle you are right – I really like your website is pretty cool just to remind people it is ok to laught- I meet people that just grumpy. One question, how about those persons that seem to look serious all the time? Especially Man could be true or does women respect those Man more than a guy that is always joking around?

    All the best

    1. Hi Jos Moreno,

      I really appreciate your feedback, and to try to answer your question – It is of my opinion that women like a guy with a good sense of humor that is totally different than always joking around.

  6. Hi Teresa. I absolutely love this post. We definitely need to have much more laughter in our lives. It’s obvious that different things cause different people to laugh. I laugh a lot with and at my grandchildren. They tend to make every aspect of life funny. My kids, like most others I guess, love swapping ‘Knock Knock’ jokes with me. They make up the most ridiculous jokes that aren’t the least bit funny, yet you just have to laugh.

    I remember some great comedians of the past that would have me in stitches, but only one of them made me laugh without every having to say anything, that person was Jerry Lewis. Just the faces he would pull sent me into raptures. It’s my belief that if we spend more time laughing, we will have less time to be angry. Thank you for reminding me to smile and laugh. Jim

  7. It’s always kind of funny to me whenever I hear people say it is not their nature to laugh, I laugh as much as I can and people know me for it. Well, not disputing anyone’s opinion, the tips you gave about how to laugh more often are effective and I’ll like to emphasize that personal acceptance is very important in our life as it determines our rate of happiness. It’s really interesting reading through this article, I’ll share to some other groups.

  8. Beautiful Post …

    The truth is that I believe the same, I think that the days of laughter are those that leave us with great peace. I really liked the 8 points to laugh that you wrote.

    I was surprised to learn that people with Parkinson’s have had a better life experience after taking some comedy courses for example.

    I always try to find a moment in the day to meet my brother, the only person with whom I can’t stop laughing, even if it’s only 10 minutes to see each other. I think, as you say in your post, this connects me to when we were kids. I feel like a child again (I’m 43 years old already!) And I laugh in the same way, as if there were no problems (and oh boy there are …), is feeling again “simple”, without stress, without worries and a little naive 🙂

    In addition, we always talk about our favorite comedian and keep watching him: Seinfeld of course! 🙂

    The truth is that I really liked your post

    Thank you

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