How to Laugh Yourself Healthy and Happy

No doubt, we’ve all heard the phrase, “laughter is the best medicine”. So much so, that it has become cliché and lost much of its power. In actuality, regular bouts of laughter can have health benefits, as well as elevate your mood. Forcing yourself to laugh and play when you’re feeling blue will improve your mood. (And it boosts health too!) What we are going to do is first talk about the many exciting benefits of laughter. Then, we are going to explore ways to learn to cut loose and let laughter reign. When it is appropriate, of course. I have had to leave public places when I get the giggles and can’t quit. What a fun problem to have! Let’s learn how to have it and why! Besides the fact laughing is fun and leaves us happier, laughter is a:

  • Stress Buster
  • Pain Reliever
  • Immune System Booster
  • Relationship Builder

Stress Buster

Laughter relieves stress in several ways. First, you have the immediate release; It feels so good. I can imagine waves of stress flying out of my mouth with my laughter and rolling down my cheeks with my tears. Laughing until you are crying and your sides hurt feels great. We can’t deny that. That laughter triggers more than sounds, tears, and an occasional bladder leak. It dumps all sorts of good hormones into your system instead of the nasty stress-induced hormones. Stress causes levels of cortisol and adrenaline to go up. (Generally, not needed in day-to-day life and too much is not a good thing). Laughter, on the other hand, decreases levels of those bad boys. But, it gets better than that! Instead, laughing triggers the release of hormones like endorphins and dopamine. They are the good guys when it comes to living a happy little life, so more is good. They are often called “the feel good hormones” for a reason.

Pain Reliever

It is no big secret that addiction to painkillers is a serious issue in America. I took them for years. Doctors give them to you like candy, then take them away and tell you to find ways to manage. Unless you are smart enough to find a way off of them before the choice forced upon you; That is a very bad place to be. Bodies break, get old, and hurt; Pain is real. There are plenty of natural ways to help manage pain, and laughter is actually one of them. How cool is that? Laughter triggers your body’s the release of these marvelous little compounds; Endorphins. Besides being a feel happy hormone, they help kill pain. They actually fit into the same receptors as opiates. Hmmmm. Now, which is a better choice? Take toxic, chemical crap that leaves you addicted and needing more, all-the-while trashing your other body systems…. Or, you can laugh often, laugh long, and laugh hard. For free. Think about it and enjoy!

Boosts Your Immune System

There are many health benefits from the biochemical changes laughing causes. One of the most exciting is how it boosts your own immune system to handle most jobs fine all on its own. It is a wonderful thing to escape coming down with the bugs and cruds everyone else is catching. A strong immune system will do that for you. Laughter increases the production of the infection fighting cells while helping to build general health. Laughing decreases blood pressure, increases blood flow and oxygenation, and even burns calories. You can burn off a cookie by laughing for 10-15 minutes. True story!

Relationship Builder

Laughter will help you build stronger and more meaningful relationships. When we laugh with others, for that moment, all the trappings drop and we are who we are, without pretense. We are bonding on that primal level, over something that makes us feel amazing. That is a strong bond, though we may not realize it. Your heart knows it though because you love being around those people. “The couple that laughs together, stays together.” It doesn’t rhyme, but that’s okay because it’s the grooviest thing ever. I can’t help but to fall in love with any person who makes me laugh to begin with. When it comes to romance, it is definitely in the top ten of basic requirements for a happy relationship. There are few things sweeter than laughing hysterically with your sweetheart over something totally ridiculous. Then later, when you recall it, you laugh all over again. That’s romantic, and very special, because it is real.

Here are some of my best tips for learning to laugh!

I am hoping, by now, you are very ready to launch into a lesson on learning to cut loose and enjoy the gift of laughter. Anyone who knows me can tell you, if anyone knows how to laugh, I do. I do believe I have it down to a fine art, so listen up.
Watch Funnies on YouTube.
Play Laughing Games
Play Traditional Games
Surround Yourself With Folks Who Laugh
Enjoy Funny Thoughts
Let Your Inner Child Play
Watch Funnies on YouTube.

My habit of doing this is partly responsible for saving my sanity during the years; I was trapped in domestic abuse. I’d sit and watch bloopers til I cried. It helped. Some of my favorites for bloopers are Big Bang Theory, Carol Burnett, and Friends.

Play Laughing Games
Yes, there is such a thing. My favorite is for three or more people. You lay on your backs on the floor, each laying their head on the others’ tummy. It makes a ring of people. Then you all lay very still and focus on trying not to laugh. Of course, somebody busts loose. It is not long before you have a chain reaction and you are all rolling around in the floor laughing out loud. I dare you to try it, no matter what your age. A second laughing game can be played with two people, but the more, the merrier. It is the same principle, only tamer. You face each other and the goal is to make the other person laugh – without laughing yourself and you cannot talk! I don’t think I need to tell you how crazy and hilarious that can be!
Play Traditional Games

While it might be a stretch to imagine a chess match ending in you rolling around laughing hysterically, most board and card games do create plenty of opportunities for laughter. It largely depends on who you are with.

Surround Yourself With Folks Who Laugh

Unless you have ever been in a position where you’re stuck where nobody laughs and laughter itself is banned, you might not realize how much of an impact this one thing can have on your happiness level.Unless you have ever been in a position where you’re stuck where nobody laughs and laughter itself is banned, you might not realize how much of an impact this one thing can have on your happiness level.

It makes perfect sense though. If you want to be happier and laugh more, hanging out with those who bring it out in you is important. It also forms meaningful bonds, something we have already discussed. So, get healthy, get happy, hang out with interesting people who laugh. They are good for you body and soul.

Enjoy Funny Thoughts

This is one technique for stimulating laughter that can be done all alone, no tools or equipment required. Believe it or not, I can laugh myself to tears this way. Here are a few examples:

Try imagining your partner, best friend, etc in costumes totally contrary to their nature. I imagine my rough, tough manly man in a tutu, or an elf outfit, or dressed up as a butterfly or ladybug….and I can’t contain myself.

Imagine a scene in a movie….an action-packed movie is fun; the type that are clearly theatrical exaggeration because real people and machines can’t do those things. Now, unless it would be violent, gross, and disgusting ( because that is SO not funny!)….imagine what would happen, road-runner-cartoon-style, if it was in real life.

Imagine the hero tripping instead of saving the day. Imagine if when he goes in for the romantic kiss, one of them burps. Are you getting the idea? Run with it and enjoy!

Let Your Inner Child Play
I don’t care how many years this earth has been enjoying you, if you quit playing like a child, you are missing out on something special. I am a grandmother many times over, with a full head of silver, and I still skip across parking lots, ride shopping carts, swing in public, stomp in puddles, and generally enjoy my own silliness every chance I get. Yes, sometimes people stare at me. People make fun of me and some even criticize me for it. But, gee, I am happy, and they are generally the ones walking around looking like their world will end at any moment. So, you tell me who is being silly. I dare you to try it. If public silliness is too much for you to handle, do it in the privacy of your own home and see how good it feels.
Well, I hope by now you are primed and ready to consciously make laughter a part of your life. If you give it just a little room, it will grow, and you will find yourself laughing easier, and more often. It will help redeem your health, your sanity, and your soul will likely be thrilled too! I’d love to hear your favorite funny tale, or which movie you can’t resist laughing through.

How do YOU inspire yourself to laughter? Tell us in the comments below!



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