The Benefits of Laughter
“Laughter is true alignment” — Abraham Hicks.
The world is feeling much uncertainty at the current moment with the current pandemic as well as the upcoming election. There are many things we can do to ground ourselves such as meditation, mindfulness, exercise, writing, and spending time in nature. However laughter is another tool. Sometimes when we are feeling stressed or uncertain, we aren’t tapped into joy and emotions feel really heavy. Laughter is a powerful antidote in shifting energy.
There are times I can feel my energy or vibe being low. Maybe I am in my thoughts, feeling stressed and have a busy mind. Then for whatever reason I find something funny and laugh, next thing I know, my mood feels lifted. Laughter can be a powerful antidote. Around twenty minutes of belly laughter with friends or a funny movie can completely shift my state from feeling low vibe and stressed to feeling relaxed and feeling tapped into joy.
It turns out the saying, “laughter is the best medicine”, is backed up by a raft of scientific studies. I discovered in my research that heart disease, kidney failure, arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, anxiety, depression and even insomnia have been shown to either be cured or reduced with the aid of laughter. I also uncovered further positive effects of laughter on social relationships, memory and learning.
Most compelling of all, laughter has been shown to increase life span. Korean researchers concluded in a 2005 study that optimists, and those who laughed more, were less likely to suffer from strokes and therefore outlived those who didn’t laugh as much. The results were echoed in two Norwegian studies: laughter and having a sense of humor proved to help people live longer by 31% and increased the chance of people with end-stage renal failure of living into retirement by 35%.
Laughter doesn’t just help us live healthier longer lives it can also be a spiritual practice. Laughter has been shown to produce the same gamma wave brain activity produced by experienced meditators, Himalayan monks.
One of the world’s most well-known meditators, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, knows just how powerful laughter is. Not only is he known for creating a sense of fun and joy during his official events, he even calls himself a professional laugher.
I consider laughter and humor, an essential part of healthy living. I laugh every single day as a spiritual practice. I laugh as my dog does something really cute, I laugh as I listen to funny podcasts and I watch mainly comedy shows, or content that is uplifting or neutral in emotion; such as shows about the natural environment, creativity, cooking or human interest. I have found that there is comedy and joy in almost every life situation if one takes the time to look for it. I also bring a sense of lightness and humor into my sessions with the amazing people I work with.
Bring on the giggles, guffaws and deep belly laughs. Find laughter in each day and notice the difference in your vibe and the ability to experience joy! Where can you create opportunities for laughter and joy in your life?
Photo Cred: Amelia Winchester Photography in beautiful Spain!
Licensed counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.