Power of Laughter in healing Stress, Depression, and Self-care

 "I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing", said Madan Kataria, who is rightly acclaimed as, 'Guru of Giggling'. Laughter not only makes you happy and vibrant but also does many more impressive things, of which many of us are oblivious. 

In this article, we shall look into the immense, astonishing benefits that laughter has to offer, to humanity and many more facts pertaining to the same.


Power of Laughter in healing Stress, Depression, and Self-care


Why do we laugh? What triggers laughter?

When we listen to a joke, we laugh because it surprises our brain, grabbing our attention. Usually, when we hear a joke, we expect the outcome to be something and it turns out to be something else. It is this 'surprise', that triggers laughter in our brain. To be more specific, laughter is processed by the hippocampus, part of the brain also associated with memory and learning. When you laugh, your hippocampus lights up like a Christmas tree, offering numerous benefits which shall be discussed later in this article.

We need to contemplate something here. What some people find 'funny', the others might not. The idea of humor differs from person to person, depending on their age, religion, nationality, etc. 




Laughter in healing Stress

In life, we've gotten into a place where everything is tumultuous. Our responsibilities and obligations have instilled in us, anxiety, and foreboding about tomorrow. Inevitably, stress, depression, anxiety, many other physical and mental disorders have become terrible nightmares that are enervating us by sucking our energy and natural harmony. We are ready to do what not to be able to sleep peacefully. Think about it. When was the last time you felt 'real' joy and bliss?

Fortunately, we have laughter which has the power to heal, give joy, and connect people by strengthening bonds.

When you laugh cortisol (stress hormone) levels, epinephrine decrease, and endorphins increase. The decrease in cortisol and epinephrine, naturally alleviate stress by making the wheels of your brain still. Increased endorphins fight away free radicals and respiration waste. That's why after laughing heartily, you feel good naturally. 


Laughter in healing Depression


WHO recognized the intensity of Depression noting that 340 million people globally, suffer from Depression. This is something that cannot be ignored by any of us. It is a serious issue that can affect our personal and professional lives as well. One of the major causes of Depression is loneliness.

Laughter helps us connect with people. When a bunch of people around you laugh, you too laugh in contagion. Laughter has the unique power in isolating your loneliness by strengthening your bonds with the people around you. It makes you feel delighted and welcomed. It erases the enormous burden off your shoulder. And it has the omnipotence to be used as an antidote against depression and stress in our daily lives. In life, not everything is under our control, but there are some aspects that are under our dominion, that can be utilized to make this world a better place to live in, for us and others.


A Norwegian study shows that people who have a strong sense of humor, outlive those who don't laugh as much. As rightly quoted by Liliana DeLeo, "As we engage in laughter, we start to feel the emotions associated with it and this is how we give rise to hope, to joy, and increase feelings of happiness in our lives". It can make you more optimistic by breaking the malignant negative thoughts. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that laughter improves the quality and quantity of life.

A Georgia State University study found that incorporating simulated laughter into an exercise program helped improve older adults’ mental health as well as their aerobic endurance.




The incredible power and benefits of laughter in Self-care

Laughter is one of the many gifts that God has bestowed upon humanity. It is these emotions like laughter, that make us who we are, human beings, of course.
Sebastian Gendry rightly stated, "Choosing to laugh is a far easier, sustainable, reliable and long-term approach to unlocking the many healing benefits that laughter has to offer". 

Laughter can obliterate disease. It keeps your heart healthy, reduces blood pressure, improves circulation, and also improves your resistance to fight away diseases. Not only that, laughter helps lessen your propensity to fall victim to neurodegenerative diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer's, by increasing the plasticity (capacity to learn new things by adding new synaptic connections) of the hippocampus. 

Surprisingly, it can make your skin glow. And it's been proven that by simply engaging in laughter for 15 minutes, you can burn up to 50 calories. Isn't it marvelous? Not only that, laughter also helps the abdominal muscles exercise and thus aid in better digestion. Laughter enables you to focus on the present moment, making you mindful.

Another interesting fact is that, after a baby is born, it laughs for the first time at around three and a half months. And it is one of the earliest signs of maturation of the baby.


How laughter helped him fight death and live longer

If you are wondering what laughter could do to you, read on this true story of Norman Cousins, a revered Journalist, famous in his day. He suffered from a rather rare, debilitating condition, and back then doctors predicted that he might not have more than 6 months of life. His possibility for survival was 1 in 500. That explains the intensity.

At that point of time, Cousins did what most of the others wouldn't do. Instead of spending time in the hospital getting treated, he made it a point to laugh every day for 30 minutes. Miraculously, he survived yet another whopping 26 years by turning the predictions topsy-turvy. 

What would you do if you were him? 
Would you be courageous enough to alter your fate or would you have simply assented with the fate?


What is the world's funniest joke?

Since we are talking about laughter, it would be essential to mention the world's funniest joke. According to a study conducted by Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology, at the University of Hertfordshire, the funniest joke in the world is this-: Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

What do you think of it? Did you find it funny? I wonder if you didn't.


How to laugh every day?

As rightly quoted by Charlie Chaplin, a day without laughter is a day wasted. But, the hitch is, how do we laugh every time when laughter is simply momentary and fleeting?

You don't have to wait for the right moment to laugh. We don't need someone or something to make us laugh. Because regardless of whether the laughter is naturally induced or fake, the benefits are the same, as proven by science. 
Laughter yoga is probably the best option one could opt for to welcome abode the spectacular benefits of it. 


What is Laughter Yoga?

Laughter yoga is a series of exercises and intentional breathing that creates a burst of fake laughter first in order to create an authentic contagious laughter second. The phrase 'Fake it till you make it', best suits this scenario. 

Fake laughter doesn't mean laughing with your mouth, it intends deliberate laughing using your entire body. That's when you can reap the maximum benefits. In the beginning, this might seem a tad bit weird. Minding nothing, continue. As the phrase goes, 'When the going gets weird, the weird turns pro'. 

 Get out of your comfort zone first, for great things can never be achieved within one's comfort zone. But if you wish to settle for the average, that's up to you.
Begin today to benefit tomorrow.


Welcome laughter into your life

You can welcome laughter into your lives. It's totally possible. All you got to do is follow simple steps like smiling every day as often as you can, which springs in hope and innate joy, breaking free from malicious stuff, engaging in fun, humorous activities. A brief description is given below.

Smile, smile, and smile a lot.

 Smile as often as you can. Some people tend to be niggardly and unwilling when it comes to spreading smiles. It costs you nothing. Smile as much as you can. When someone appreciates, smile. When you are picked at, smile. When life throws challenges at you, smile. And one of the best ways to annoy your enemies is to smile. Obvious, isn't it? Smile at people, things, animals, trees, and everything you come across. It doesn't make you lunatic. It makes you more optimistic. But don't smile at someone else's funeral. Make a note of it.

Walk away from Negativity

In order to stay happy and positive, stay away from negative people, things, memories, situations, ideas, emotions, and even negative terminal of batteries. Leave no room for any kind of negativity. If you surround yourself with positive things, your subconscious mind thinks accordingly, and based on the Universal Law of Belief, it acts in correspondence to your thoughts. 

Humorous comics, films, postures, etc

You can find innumerous books, comics, tv shows, etc which have the capacity to make your belly ache. Indulge in them, laugh heartily and mirthfully. 


Concluding...

Our life is too delicate and fragile. Whether life guarantees us a tomorrow is not certain. One day, we all have to go. Sadly, not many people seem to be aware of this fact. And they go bonkers in amassing pelf and riches, devaluing the actual important aspects of life.
Enjoy the little things in life. For, it's them that travel along with us as reminiscent unforgettable memories. Love and laugh while you still can. If possible, spread happiness and laughter outside your realm by contributing to social service. Appreciate the greatness of life and remember that the best is yet to come.

Hope my article, 'Power of Laughter in healing Stress, Depression, and Self-care' is of assistance. Subscribe for updates. 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi sirisha reddy! After reading this article I come to know many interesting facts about this article.It provides benefits of laughter in our daily life������

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