Laughing is Living

Talking with my twelve-year-old brother, I realized that laughter is a simple expression of a positive energy that we all have the tool to use.  When asking my brother Tye why he likes to laugh, he simply said “well because it puts me in a better mood.”

Many people don’t get enough laughter in their lives. Laughter has a significant importance because studies have shown that it can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity.  It is proven that children laugh many more times in a day than adults. One study was done which suggests that healthy children may laugh as much as 400 times per day, but adults tend to laugh only 15 times per day. A good laugh is extremely beneficial for managing our stress levels.

Do you ever experience the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Well, that feeling is actually an emotional release where it increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. Laughter also increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells.  It is a form of an internal workout; a good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards.

Laughter is an escape for people in many ways that takes away the focus of anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions. When I feel down, I feel a weight on my shoulders, and everything is taken so heavily.  If someone is able to make me laugh, my mood changes, and I also develop a new perspective on my situation.  Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a “threat” or a “challenge.”  Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and can help us view events such as “challenges,” thereby making them less threatening and more positive.

There are social benefits that come along with laughter.  Most people find laughter contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more often.  By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them.  All in all, laughter helps you see the lighter side of life. I got the chance to sit down with my cousin who is a physical therapist.  Her job is to heal the problems people have by stretching and strengthening the irritable areas within the body.  I asked her what she thought about the idea of laughter being a mental benefit.  She believes that “laughter grounds us; it brings us back to reality.” 

I started thinking about what she said and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  We all get carried away; our minds tend to run off whether it be because of some traumatic event in our lives or just having too much idle time on our hands.  Laughter is a way to really reflect back on our perspective of life and set our priorities straight.


nicole promtye