Medicine of Laughter - Lighten Up on April Fools’
The origins of April Fools’ Day are debatable. It may have started as early as the 1400s, deriving from Geoffrey Chaucer’s book, The Canterbury Tales. It was the first interpreted association between April 1st and foolishness.
Today, it’s a means to remind us all that we need a good laugh from time to time. Friendly pranks, hoaxes, and jokes mark April Fools. It’s a day to have a little fun and let loose.
Laughter is also a direct route to stress relief. Need a new relaxation technique? Laugh a little more. It’s not called the medicine of laughter for no good reason. It’s a medicine that covers all aspects including the mind, body, and soul. It’s good for you.
How is Laughter the Ultimate Medicine?
Have you ever been in the middle of a fight - maybe it was with your spouse, sibling, or friend - when all of a sudden something funny happens? You both breakdown in giggles and fits of laughter. And a minute or so later, your differences have been put aside. You apologize and leave the disagreement in a relatively good mood. Funny, huh?
Laughter has amazing effects on your body and mind. It soothes the soul and promotes positivity from within. It’s almost like it lifts any burdens, leaving you with only good vibes.
And the best part? It’s free. No prescription or price tag attached.
So, what’s going on?
What is Laughter Doing to Your Mind, Body, & Soul?
1. Laughter relaxes you. Out of all the relaxation techniques or stress management activities, this one probably works the best. It’s all-natural and takes little effort. How does it relax you exactly? It decreases stress hormones. It also decreases tension for almost an hour afterward. So take a dose of it.
2. A laughing session improves your immune system. As mentioned in the previous point, you can say goodbye to those aggravating stress hormones. And you can say hello to more immune cells. Laughing has protective effects, steering you clear from disease and illness.
3. It increases your mood via good ol’ endorphins. Want a way to feel good without any external factors or drugs? Increase your endorphins. You can do this through exercise - but laughter also works. Endorphins make you happy and decrease discomfort or pain sensations.
4. A little laughter is good for your heart health. Surprisingly, laughing increases blood flow. In turn, it improves the functioning of your blood vessels and heart. Cardiovascular disease and heart attacks are a few of the leading causes of death. Thwart them via more joy and laughter in your life.
5. It provides an energy burn. So, maybe it’s not as much of a calorie burner as going for a run, lifting weights, or hitting up that spin class. But 10 minutes of laughing a day burns about 40 calories. Every little bit adds up. It may contribute to a higher metabolism in this way. But don’t exactly count on it to burn those next few pounds.
6. Laughing more leads to a longer life. Who doesn’t want to live a long and full life? Studies have shown individuals with a good sense of humor live longer than others.
Overall, laughter increases happiness, decreases stress, improves your heart health, boosts immunity, and builds resilience. It can further help increase bonding and improve relationships. It’s like a nice mental and physical cleanse.
How You Can Lighten Up & Relieve Stress With Laughter
Maybe you’re feeling down in the dumps. You don’t feel like laughing. You want to but you just can’t get in the mood. There are ways to flip your perspective. And there are ways to get better at this natural remedy. Here’s how:
If people find it annoying, they aren’t your people. Plus, laughs are normally infectious. They spread. So ignore the haters. Embrace your laugh! It’s a sign of a good time and a happy moment. It’s not something to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. And if anyone makes you feel that way, they aren’t worth your time.
Use laughter to be inclusive and positive.
Yes, laughing can have a negative connotation. For instance, bullies use it as motivation to continue their hurtful ways. So, take laughter and only embrace it in a positive light. Don’t spread negativity. Spread positivity and good.
Smiling has similar effects. And the more you smile, the happier you’ll be. There is a correlation. And perhaps it could lead to more laughter in your life. Fake it until you make it. In this case, it can work.
You don’t have to be funny.
You don’t need to be the comedian to laugh. Let it happen naturally. Let something shock you in a good way where you keel over in giggles. No one expects you to be the funny one.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Include goofy people in your circle of friends. Associate with them. Draw from their sense of humor. It increases relationships when you share a good laugh! So, get out there and socialize.
Seek out humor.
What makes you laugh? Is it the comics in the paper? Do you enjoy a good but silly comedy? Are you into a particular stand-up comedian? Is it acting silly with your best friend? Narrow it down and look for opportunities for it on a regular basis.
Don’t force laughter.
Sure, you can force a smile. It’s a step in the right direction. But a forced laugh isn’t doing you or anyone else any good. Again, let it happen naturally.
Laugh a Little More This April Fools’
Crack a few awful puns or jokes with your friends. Laughter has an array of benefits - with few or zero downsides. It sparks joy and happiness, as well as good all-around health. It really is the best stress relief therapy and medicine you can get. Loosen up. Live more by laughing more.
Related Article: A Meditation to Find Your Inner Happiness