Laugh Off Stress: The Healing Power of Laughter

Category: Play Therapy

Sarah Kral

Stress is everywhere around us, whether it is our own stress or others. At times, it just gets to be too much. We tend to feel stress in our bodies; you may have noticed a tension headache, increased heart rate or gastrointestinal issues. If not, managed stress can increase mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. However, if we can start to manage the stress you will be able to have a better way of life.

There are many approaches to stress management and one that tends to be overlooked is the benefits of laughter. Forgetting to laugh during stressful times is like drinking lemon water. Laughter makes a sour day, sweeter. Humor is the sweetener in life. When you can learn to shift your perspective and find the brighter side of the situation, you can turn lemons into lemonade.

Here are 5 ways to add more Laughter to your life:

  1. Follow a Funny Meme: There’s a reason a funny meme goes viral. Follow some funny meme accounts to put a smile on your face, whenever you go on social media. TikTok and YouTube have funny memes and videos to watch.
  • Spend time with pets: Pets are a great source of laughter and joy for many. If you don’t have a pet consider volunteering at an animal shelter, ask a friend or family member who has a pet to hangout. Or you can always watch funny animal memes and videos.
  • Laugh at yourself: Learning to laugh at yourself is one of the best ways you can add laughter into your life. It is always good to be able to laugh at yourself especially, if you are upset. Laughter can make you feel less upset/stressed and start to see a positive situation.
  • Watch a funny movie/show: Laughter can alter dopamine and serotonin activity. Research has shown endorphins secreted by laughter can help people in a depressed mood and stressed. Watch your favorite funny movie/show and watch how your mood changes as you laugh throughout the movie/show.
  • Play Pretend: Especially great when you have kids. This can be helpful when your child is having a rough day/moment. Incorporating play pretend can allow your child to start to regulate their emotions by changing the negative to a positive. Next time you notice your child is having a rough day try engaging them with play pretend and see how the laughter of your child and yours start to change both of your mood.

Laughter is another great way to allow our mind and body to connect to one another. Laughter allows stress to be released from the body, instead of staying in your body resulting in physical symptoms for an example. When we are able to use tools such as laughter, we will start to notice just how much we are holding in our body. Laugh at every chance you can and feel better both physically and mentally.