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Thursday, September 12, 2024

Make ‘Em Laugh: The Best Medicine

When is the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Do you remember the surge of euphoria flowing through your body making it impossible to stop yourself? Do you remember how the urge to laugh crept up minutes and even hours after reflecting on that moment?

There’s a reason why these things happen. When a person laughs, heart rate and respiration increase, endorphins are released, and blood pressure and depression declines. The good feeling after a spurt of laughter has a lasting effect — sometimes even into the next day. This boosts your immune system and burns calories, too. Studies have shown laughter encourages creativity and productivity and increases energy. Besides helping people live longer and happier lives, laughter also reduces stress, anger, embarrassment, and fear. I guess you could say laughter is a powerful medicine!

With the facts on the table, the real question becomes: why do adults laugh 15 times a day compared to the 400 times a day children laugh? Did we forget how to let loose and laugh? Do we worry too much about life’s complexities?

Regardless of the opinions or the answers, watch some children play. Notice how they don’t need much to entertain them – everything is spontaneous and fun. Maybe we should tap into our inner child and learn to laugh more, to be healthier and to keep life in perspective. Here are some ideas to spur laughter:

Watch Comedy TV Shows or Movies

Watching funny movies with friends not only helps build relationships, but will also make you laugh longer and harder because you feed off of each other’s laughter.

Learn to Laugh at Yourself

Never take yourself too seriously. Learn to embrace and laugh at your own behaviors that might seem odd to others.

Comic Strips

Remember what used to be the only colorful part of the newspaper – the comic section? Make a point to read the comic strips for funny perspectives on current events.

Take a Laughter Yoga Class

It may be odd at first, but you’ll soon find yourself laughing at everyone else laughing.

Be Spontaneous

Do something spontaneously funny every day. Make a funny face, imitate your favorite cartoon character, say something you’d never say, or make up your own silly dance. It’s guaranteed to get you and others laughing.

Play with Kids

Become a Big Brother or Big Sister or spend some time with children to tap into your inner child and remember what it was like to play.

Make ’em Laugh

Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh? Inject humor or jokes into your everyday life to make life more enjoyable for you and others.

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education

Chicago Senior Living
Assisted Living in Chicago

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