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Mossel Bay
29th February 2024
Community & LivingHealth & Beauty

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Although modern medicine has in many ways proven very effective for many diseases, it is worth noting that non-pharmacological approaches can and often do prove very useful, especially when it comes to prevention, and many of these are within our easy reach. 

Healthy diet, exercise and good sleep, for example, are just a few of the simplest and most effective forms of good medicine we could all use more of. If we attended more to these three cornerstones of healthy living, there’s no doubt we’d live better lives with less illness. 

Similarly, laughter has often been referred to as “the best medicine”; and this is not a joke! 

Research has shown that laugher helps us connect better with others, boosting the quality of our important relationships; reduces blood pressure; alleviates stress and other unpleasant emotions such as depression; boosts our immune system; provides benefits to our cardiovascular system; relieves pain; and even burns calories! 

Further, the world-renowned Mayo Clinic suggests more laughter is just what the doctor ordered (or should order more of). In a recent review article, in addition to those benefits listed above, they also claim that laugher positively stimulates many organs, leads to the release of “stress hormones”, and aids with muscle tension. Over the longer term it’s been associated with higher levels of personal satisfaction and happiness. 

How, then, can we bring more laughter in to our lives? 

To begin with, reflect on the fact that laughter and humour can be learned. Like many other aspects of life and personality, some people will find this easier than others and ultimately be “better” than others. But we can all learn to be funnier and find more funny moments in life; it’s not that different to any other skill, and practice definitely makes better. 

Practice the following for more laugher and medicine and better health.

  • Actively bring humour into your life. Place funny photos or jokes or images in places you’ll see them often, such as your desk or on the screen saver of your phone or computer
  • If necessary, force yourself to laugh and the laughter will become real. This is the basis of “laughter yoga” or join an Ageless Grace exercise class (www.agelessgrace.com) for a good dose of humour.
  • Spend time with people who laugh and/or who make you laugh. Some friends or colleagues will just have a knack for doing this and they’re the ones you might like to make more time to hang out with 
  • Take advantage of the many wonderful, free resources available on the internet. You Tube is full of hilarious videos and bookshops and libraries will also have books of jokes that will bring on a good giggle 

Also remember what’s not funny. Good humour shouldn’t be at the expense of others. So make sure you’re not laughing at people or that the humour isn’t racist, sexist or discriminatory. Some people might think this is getting too serious or “politically correct” but there are many, many ways to have a good laugh that won’t be considered offensive by others. Accordingly, enjoy and make sure others are having fun too. https://blog.hif.com.au/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine?fbclid=IwAR3UnoWB-COyGAf5Q_iVbWsbK2Rg1lERa6dO3byp9oD4Wq0was7TjDiDc4I

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