8 Ways Laughter Is Good For Health and Well Being By Wendy Clarkson

This is not a laughing matter. This is serious business. Laughter is good for your health and well being. What better time to try and remember this fact is leading up to and following a bereavement. When guiding a family through a death and making plans for a funeral, I believe it is very important not to lose sight of the person’s personality and in particular, their humour. Albeit a very sad time I encourage the memories to reflect your loved one. Not just the facts and stories, but the amusing anecdotes too. Making a funeral so personal, unique and a celebration of life.

Laughter For Healing

Laughter, in the correct circumstances can be healing when feeling sad for many reasons, but especially when grieving Some people would advocate the benefits of owning a pet to enhance your pleasure in life and giving comfort. Imagine how an elderly person living on their own gains from the company of a small dog or cat, the physical interaction of touching and stroking it’s fur. Yes of course a pet is a blessing and one of many things to enhance our lives BUT Laughter is on another level.

From a small giggle to a side splitting gaffaw (What a fantastic word, as Miranda would say) – GAFFAW, nearly as exciting as my favourite word spurious. One of the best feelings in the world is the deep-rooted belly laugh. A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around, giving a huge sense of satisfaction.

Laughter For Social Bonding

Think about when you meet someone. The first reaction is to shake hands The human contact, however small or simple can be recognition of how you are feeling. A twinkle can bring a smile and automatically enables an engaging conversation. A smile is infectious and can bring people together, strangers or not. As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul, and in Psalm 42 it tells us that ‘God has a smile on His face’. There is already so much to love about laughter, but did you know that laughter is good for your health?

8 Ways Laughter Is Good For You

  1.  Lowers blood pressure – reduce risk of stroke and heart attack. So grab the Sunday paper, flip to the funny pages, and enjoy your laughter medicine.
  2. Reduces stress hormone levels – A work colleague with a wicked sense of humour can make the work day a brighter place and time go by quickly and reduce stress.
  3. Works your abs – One of the benefits of laughter is that it can help you tone your abs. When you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs. Meanwhile, the muscles you are not using to laugh are getting an opportunity to relax. Add laughter to your ab routine and make getting a toned tummy more enjoyable… and burns calories!
  4. Improves cardiac health – Laughter is a great cardio workout, It gets your heart pumping and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace. So, laugh your heart into health.
  5. Triggers the release of endorphins – Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. By laughing, you can release endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over
  6. Produces a general sense of well-being – Laughter can increase your overall sense of well-being. Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. So smile, laugh, and live longer!
  7. Boosts T-cells – T-cells are specialized immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. When you laugh, you activate T-cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness. Next time you feel a cold coming on, add chuckling to your illness prevention plan. So laughter can help you live longer
  8. Social benefits – Strengthens relationships – Attracts others to us – Enhances teamwork -Helps defuse conflict – Promotes group bonding

Laughter Yoga

Did you know that you can join a LAUGHTER YOGA THERAPY CLASS to achieve all of the above? Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine, but as with anything, there is a time and a place. However there should be no guilt in laughing following a bereavement. Everyone is individual as to how they cope, but laughter may just help.

‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.’