We’ve all heard the adage, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Well, is this true? And if it is, then why aren’t more of us laughing? Yes, the complexities of life, school, work, marriage, kids –or all of it—piles up over time. Laughing is sometimes the last thing we do. And yet, it’s the first thing we should do.
Honestly, I have laughed more with my oldest son than ever before as he has become a teenager. Together as we have slowly leveled out the adult/child relationship, we laugh at stupid stuff and laugh at crazy stuff. We laugh at truly funny stuff, too! And I find after a particularly difficult day that I sit down at the end of it all, with a drink, looking for something on my DVR just to laugh away the day’s problems.
I sound crazy. And that may be very true. However, I really do just want a gut-wrenching laugh when the seriousness of my life surrounds me. It’s almost an addiction. Why? Because I feel so much better after laughing!
Here are four reasons you need to watch that slapstick comedy, or Whose Line is it Anyway, or the funny video snippets on YouTube -- and feel better over it, too. Because we can all use more funny in our lives!
1. Laugh your way into a work out: Some studies say that laughing is like working out. Did you hear that ladies? Laughing equals working out. Do you want to burn calories in front of the tube or the gym? Hmmm. Easy call! Laughing increases our heart rate and even increases our blood flow. Hello! I’ll take thirty minutes of laughing at silly stuff than the treadmill any day (Although, gym time does have its place.)
2. Laugh and sleep better: One study suggests that laughing not only makes you sleep better, but that if you have aches and pains, or an illness, laughter can ease the pain! Not sure how true that is, as my aches and pains come in the form of one more load of laundry or brushing the dog’s teeth. But, it’s true that after an evening of laughter, I sleep better! And with sleep being the elusive Sand Man that he is these days as a mom, I’ll take every extra minute of sleep I can get.
3. Laugh for a better quality of life: When we’re with groups of people, we tend to laugh more. This could be from a fun meal together with friends, full of riveting jokes and shenanigans. Or a funny movie the family went out together to see. A study says that people tend to laugh thirty times more with others than by ourselves. Um. Wow! Makes me never want to be alone. So, yes being with people and not laughing is still great. But, being with the same people and getting to laugh, well that’s just icing on the cake.
4. Laugh it up for a load off: Seriously. Who doesn’t need this? When the kids forget their lunch to school, the dog eats one of your shoes, and you hit every red light from here to work, laughing it up is kind of the only thing we should be doing (Or else, yeah. You guessed it. We’ll go crazy.) Stress messes up our bodies. From fatigue to weight gain, stress is never a good thing. But laughter is. Always.
While it can be difficult to find something funny (clearly, not all humor is the same), just know that it’s out there. Look for it, ask friends for movie recommendations or sitcoms. Something. Anything to get you to smile, and laugh. A lot. Because without laughter, life is no fun. And with the pursuit of happiness a ubiquitous goal for everyone, happiness is obtainable—very much so—when you laugh the night away.
Sources: “Give Your Body a Boost – With Laughter,” R. Morgan Griffin, Web MD, April 10,2008,