Laughter has long been known to have a range of benefits for mental health, including reducing stress, improving mood, and helping us cope with difficult situations. Not only that, but laughter can even help those dealing with more serious mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Laughter serves as an emotional release! Life can get overwhelming, and we find ourselves feeling weighed down by our emotions. In those moments, a good cry can be cathartic. But, laughing can also provide that release. Laughing until you cry allows for a healthy expression of emotions and can be incredibly therapeutic.
The Benefits of Laughter for Mental Health
Have you ever noticed how a good comedy movie or a funny conversation with friends can instantly lift your spirits? That’s because laughter triggers the release of dopamine, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter in our brain. It can turn a bad day around and help us find joy even in the midst of challenges.
One of the key benefits of laughter is its ability to reduce stress. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers. These endorphins are natural painkillers and mood boosters. Endorphins promote feelings of happiness and can even provide temporary relief from physical and emotional discomfort.
Laughing with others can create a sense of connection and belonging. It brings people together and fosters social bonds, which are crucial for our mental health. Laughing with friends, family, or even strangers can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation that often accompany mental health issues.
When we laugh, our attention shifts away from our worries, allowing us to temporarily escape the anxious loop in our minds. It is a form of self-care that gives us a break from the constant mental chatter and offers a refreshing perspective. By finding moments of laughter amidst the challenges, we can build the resilience needed to navigate through stressful situations and maintain a positive outlook.
Ways to Incorporate More Laughter into Your Daily Life
Laughter is a powerful tool for improving mental health, but sometimes it can feel challenging to find opportunities to laugh amidst the stress and busyness of daily life.
Firstly, surround yourself with humor. This can involve watching funny TV shows or movies, reading humorous books or comics, or even following social media accounts that share funny memes or jokes. By exposing yourself to humor regularly, you create opportunities for laughter throughout your day.
Additionally, prioritize spending time with people who make you laugh. Whether it’s friends, family, or even co-workers, being in the presence of funny and lighthearted individuals can help foster laughter. Plan social activities or gatherings that revolve around humor, such as game nights or watching stand-up comedy or comedic improv shows together.
Don’t be afraid to be silly and playful. Engage in activities that bring out your inner child and make you laugh, such as dancing like nobody’s watching, playing games, or trying out new hobbies or creative outlets. Embrace the freedom to let go and laugh without inhibition.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of laughter yoga or laughter therapy. These practices involve intentionally engaging in laughter exercises, even if they start off as forced or fake. Over time, these exercises often result in genuine laughter and can provide a significant boost to your mood and mental well-being.
At Recovery Ways we have over a decade of experience helping those who are seeking to improve their mental health including specializing in supporting healing with PTSD, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, and more. We have a thriving alumni program with many who support each other in their new found freedoms of a life of sobriety. We offer a wide range of services including Detox, Residential Treatment, PHP, and IOP therapy to help those in need. Please contact us today if we can be of assistance in getting your life unstuck and back to finding more purpose and joy. We accept most major insurances.