When did you last have a really good laugh?
You know, one of those outbursts that literally shakes your whole body. When you can hardly breathe and your sides are hurting afterwards. If you can’t remember the last time you really laughed, it may be a sign you need to make room for a little more humour and playfulness in your life.
Laughter is good for you
Humour balances the seriousness of life, and it’s what helps you endure challenges. Laughter is good for you on many levels:
Laughter relaxes your whole body
A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, relaxing your muscles for up to 45 minutes afterwards.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins
The body’s natural feel-good chemicals, endorphins promote an overall sense of wellbeing.
Laughter boosts the immune system
It decreases stress hormones and increases your body’s production of white blood cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter protects the heart
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Ways to laugh more
You can find more reasons to laugh by:
- Smiling – this is where laughter begins, so find reasons to smile and let it take over your body.
- Spending time with fun, playful people – seek out family and friends who make you laugh.
- Moving towards laughter – when you hear people laughing, join them; laughter is highly contagious.
- Joining a laughter club – these are groups that get together for the express purpose of laughing.
- Watching comedy – this can be in any form you like, such as a YouTube clip, live act, TV show or movie.
- Reading funny books or comics – start each day with a funny quote or cartoon.
What or who makes you laugh? Invest some recovery time in these activities and people.
Professional help is at hand
If you or a loved one simply can’t find a reason to laugh or smile, you might benefit from chatting to one of our friendly doctors. You may be entitled to Medicare-subsidised counselling under the GP Mental Health Care Plan Scheme. Please ask your doctor for details and a referral.
For a private consultation with one of our psychologists, no referral is required – you can simply make a booking with Reception.
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.