By Marina Blalock
Laughter is contagious, and most of us can relate to the delightful experience of getting caught up on a laughing wave. The uncontrollable laughter starts with a giggle and roars into a knee-slapping, watery-eye, thundering laughing wave taking over the room.
The sense of lightness, the feelings of emotional connection, and overall wellness are some of the benefits often reported by people after a good laugh. Science has proven that humor facilitates healthy physical and emotional changes in the body.
Here are some ways humor affect us.
Some of the physical health benefits of laughter and humor include:
- Decrease of stress hormones and reduction of physical tension.
- Release of endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being.
- Increased blood flow, which supports cardiovascular health.
Some of the mental health benefits of laughter and humor include:
- Decrease of anxiety symptoms and distressing emotions.
- Increased mental energy and clarity.
- Minimizing defensiveness and strengthening healthy relationships.
Positive Psychology, the study of human flourishing, identifies humor as a positive emotion, a character strength, and a healthy coping mechanism. As such, humor allows us to increase our sense of optimism and hope, allowing us to tolerate and cope better with challenging situations, which improves our resiliency.
Here are five ways to cultivate your sense of humor and bring more laughter into your life.
- Practice gratitude.
- Spend time with fun, playful people.
- Develop expressing your authenticity and your emotions.
- Bring humor into your conversations.
- Find your inner child and practice taking things lightly and laughing at ordinary things.
When life gives you lemons, humor and laughter can be the sugar in the lemonade. A smile and a laugh can give you the courage and strength to find hope and stay resilient in the face of difficulties.