Can you remember a time where you couldn’t stop laughing? One time one of my family members watered a plastic plant for a few months thinking it was real. When I found out, I laughed for days. Thinking about it now still makes me smile.
Recent research points to the importance of laughter in leading a healthy life. It appears that laughter may be one way to protect ourselves from stress. Stress affects us in different ways. Some stress, like a difficult relationship, can affect us emotionally, whereas other stress, like a medical procedure, can be physically painful. A recent article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society presented a series of experiments which show that laughter can be beneficial to people. These experiments compared the pain tolerance of people who participated in activities where laughter was encouraged through watching comedy videos or live comedy performances to people who did other activities. People who watched comedies and laughed were able to tolerate more pain than those who did other activities.
The authors of the study speculated that laughing releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in your body that help you cope with physical and emotional stress. Endorphins also have a pain relieving effect.
Laughter may also promote social relationships. When you laugh with another person and have fun, you will want to spend more time with that person. Having good support from other people is very important for your health and for managing stress.
These findings show that laughter is important for a healthy life and can help us cope with physical pain. In fact, laughter is a simple stress management technique. Nearly everyone can do it!
So, one way to manage stress is to laugh more. It is easy to do this. Get together with fun friends or watch funny movies. You may feel better after doing so.
What makes you laugh?
Learn more about stress, health, and stress management at: www.stressandhealthonline.com.