Laughter research (yes, there is someone out there researching this) has shown that humor and especially laughter can help keep our bodies strong and disease resistant.
Humor is equally helpful to our mental health and the way we deal with stress and worry. A good laugh exercises many muscles of the body and causes the brain to release endorphins.
These “feel good” brain chemicals raise both our mood and our coping abilities. Sometimes things don’t seem as bad when looked through the eyes of humor.
The average adult laughs approximately 17 times a day. Some reports have even stated that laughing can be a great workout too. It is estimated that a healthy laughing session can be equal to several minutes on the rowing machine or the exercise bike. Besides using your diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles, your blood pressure is lowered, and your heart rate increases as well. Ever laugh so much that it hurts? Now you know why. You are actually exercising!
The real power of humor and laughter shows up when you learn to use it under stress. It keeps things in perspective, helps dispel negative emotions, and puts you in the frame of mind to cope with the situation. You’ll always have stress in your life. To use humor effectively to deal with stress, you need to understand your own humor and how willing you are to laugh, have a humor plan, and practicing using humor skills until they are comfortable.