Laughter and humor are beneficial to incorporate in your life not only physically but mentally and emotionally. When I was thinking about this topic I was reminded of a journalist from the 1970s, Norman Cousins who wrote a book called The Anatomy of illness. Norman had a debilitating spinal disorder. His treatment of choice, watching hours of Marx brothers movies. He found that the laughter from watching these movies decreased his pain and actually helped improve his disorder.
Physical benefits of laughter:
Improves your heart health
Boost your pain tolerance
Improves your immunity
Improves your sleep
Improves memory retention
Humor can alleviate the stress and anxiety you deal with during difficult and challenging times. It lowers the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases endorphins, which is the feel good chemical in the body.
Laughter Brings People Together
A shared laugh creates bonds between people. Remember laughter is contagious and can spread fast from two people through a group.
Laughter Adds Positivity to Conversations
3 ways you can bring laughter and humor into your life.
1.) Watch sketches of old comedies.
I Love Lucy, Carol Burnett Show, In Living Color, SNL.
One of my favorites is a sketch from the Carol Burnett Show when Tim Conway plays a new dentist. His patient is Harvey Korman. I heard a story that Harvey Korman was laughing so hard during the scene that he wet his pants.
2.) Learn a new joke.
3.) Recall some stories from your own life that make you laugh.
This happened to me recently when I told a story about a 3 day camping trip I took with my good friend Ron Arsenault during my Podcast on Men and Friendship. On this particular trip to Maine, we left on a Friday and by Saturday after breakfast I spent all my money. When we got into the vehicle to leave I said to Ron I spent all of my money I need to borrow some. I only brought $50 for a three day trip. When recalling this story during our Podcast I began to laugh so hard I could not relay the story so Ron had to tell it. Don’t be afraid to to make fun of yourself.
Pay attention to how much laughter and humor you have in your life? Is it enough? How often do you make others laugh?
Remember don’t take life too seriously and create opportunities for laughter. Those experiences will enrich your life and benefit you physiologically, physically and socially.