You're lying in bed with some kind of health problem, taking medicine and maybe getting some kind of treatment or therapy-and feeling pretty down. Or maybe you're taking care of someone who's ill, and it's wearing you out. Sometimes life can feel pretty overwhelming. This might seem like a crazy idea, but now's the time for you to laugh.
Think for a minute: Is there anything close by that might cheer you up? A TV show? A book? Your child dancing?
On my last day of vacation in Italy, a chatty café owner in Rome introduced me to a tall, charming Italian man. He was a local artist, I learned; his name was Marco. Just a day earlier, my friend Lynn and I had sat in a piazza in Florence talking about how hard it is to meet nice guys. It had been two years since my last relationship, and, admittedly, I'd grown a little standoffish with the opposite sex. Lynn and I agreed that I could open up a little more. So when I met Marco, I figured...
Whatever you're doing right now, stop and find something that makes you laugh. It may feel like a solution that won't last long, but laughter can help you forget about your troubles and help your body heal. That's right. Laughter can help your body heal.
Your brain talks to your body
You probably already know that your brain is in charge of things like what you think about and your ability to walk, talk, breathe, and move. But did you know that your brain also produces chemicals that affect everything from how fast your heart beats to how well you fight off disease?
Boost your body's immune system to help you fight off infection.
Increase your deep breathing, which relaxes your muscles, gives you more energy, and lowers your stress.
Help you make sense of your emotional experiences, improve your mood, and manage your feelings of pain and stress.
Scientific research backs this up: The more you laugh, the better you'll feel and the healthier you'll be. Give it a try.
Learn more ways to laugh
Laughter is one of those things, like getting exercise or watching what you eat, that you can do yourself. Here are a few ways to laugh more:
Ask your spouse, partner, or friends to help by telling you good jokes or bringing you funny movies.
Spend time with the world's leading experts on laughter: children.
Surround yourself with people and things that make you laugh-whoever or whatever they may be.
Surround yourself with humor: An Internet search for "stupid pet tricks" or "funniest home movies" will give you, as well as the people you care for or the people who care for you, plenty to laugh at.
Ask at your local library or bookstore for funny books, audio programs, or movies. Or subscribe to a free comedy podcast.
It's easy to think that the only things that can help your health are things that others do for you or to you-the medicines you take, the doctors you visit, the surgeries or operations you have. And these are all important. But laughter is effective treatment you can do for yourself. And you don't need a medical license to do it.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this