Laugh Off Stress: The Healing Power Of Laughter

February 6, 2013

Speaker: Nira Berry, Founder of LaughingRx Laughter Wellness Program

Some research has demonstrated that laughter can impact physical and mental health, in addition to reaping social benefits.  The Mayo Clinic reports that laughter is a great form of stress relief and induces physical changes in your body. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the short-term benefits of laughter can:

  • Enhance intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles and increase endorphins that are released in your brain.
  • Stimulate circulation and aide muscle relaxation.

The Mayo Clinic also found that long-term effects of laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system.
  • Relieve pain.

Laughter can ease anxiety and fear, relieve stress, improve mood, and enhance resilience and acceptance.  Finding humor also offers an outlet for frustration.  There are social benefits to laughter, and laughter strengthens relationships.  It attracts others to us, helps diffuse tension, promotes group bonding, and helps coping to become a shared experience. 

Use the following techniques to experience the benefits of laughter:

  • Laugh out loud.
  • Laugh in different positions.
  • Laugh with others.

Laughter is a natural intervention.  It doesn’t cost anything.  There are no insurance hassles.  Laughter relies on the natural physiological process to heal.  It can help you feel empowered and help you manage the emotional side effects of living with cancer.

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