Laughter Really May Be the Best Medicine

Have you ever heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine? There may be something to this… According to the Mayo Clinic (1), “A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.”

Reasons Laughter Really May Be the Best Medicine

Laughter can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

Short-term Benefits

Laughing can make us feel better mentally, but it also causes physical changes in our bodies. It can:

  • Stimulate our organs. When we laugh, we automatically take in more oxygen. This helps to stimulate our lungs, heart and muscles. Laughing can also increase our brain’s release of those feel-good endorphins.
  • Activate and then relieve our stress response. “A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.” (Mayo Clinic)
  • Relieve tension. Because of the increase in oxygen when we’re laughing, our circulation may increase, which can help our muscles relax.

Long-Term Benefits

Laughter can also have long-term benefits. It has the potential to:

  • Improve our immune system function. Humor can increase the production of antibodies. The positive thoughts associated with laughter can also “release neuropeptides that help fight stress.” (Mayo Clinic) For more ways to manage stress, check out 10 Ways to Manage Stress.
  • Reduce pain. Laughter can also increase the production of endorphins, which act as the body’s natural pain killers.
  • Make us happier with our lives. Humor can help us get through tough events/situations, and it can act as a bridge to help us connect with others.
  • Improve our moods. Because it can increase the production of dopamine, laughter can help lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Improve short-term memory in older adults. A study conducted at Loma Linda University tested whether humor could improve the short-term memory of older adults. Check out these results: “Learning ability improved by 38.5% and 24.0% in the humor and control groups, respectively. “Delayed recall improved by 43.6% and 20.3% in the humor and control groups, respectively. Within the humor group, delayed recall (43.6%) was significant compared with learning ability (38.5%).” (2) The conclusion was that “humor can have clinical benefits and rehabilitative implications and can be implemented in programs that support whole-person wellness for older adults.” (2)

With all these benefits, who wouldn’t want to laugh? I’ve often said that besides my faith, my sense of humor is what gets me through the tough times and helps me feel optimistic even when things look dark. When we can find the humor in everyday life, we can contribute to our sense of wellbeing and perhaps even improve our overall wellness.

Beautiful blue pool in front of a waterfall with text overlay: "Laughter is God's hand on the shoulder of a troubled world." ~Bettenell Huntznicker

Adding Humor to Our Lives

There are many ways we can add a little levity to our days. On those days when we’re feeling less-than-cheerful, we may have to look a little harder for the humor in things, but if we try, we can usually find something to laugh at. Here are some ways to add a little humor:

  • Watch a funny movie. Of course, each person will have their own idea of what’s funny. My Hubby and I love those stupid comedies like Rocket Man (a Disney movie, not the one about Elton John), See Spot Run, My Cousin Vinnie, etc., but they’re not everybody’s cup of tea.
  • Spend time with people who make you laugh.  Make it a priority to spend time with those people who share your sense of humor.
  • Look at what’s ‘different’ in a situation. As an example, those memes of dogs wearing shirts and using human hands or the goats who are running around and suddenly fall over stiff-legged….
  • Check out websites that share humorous items. One example that I thought of right away was my friend Caz at Invisibly Me. She shares a monthly “funnies” post where she rounds up funny things from across the internet.
  • Find things that make you chuckle – photos, cards, etc. and keep them where you can see them. That way, when you’re having a bad day, you can look at them and hopefully seeing them will lift your spirits.

Having a sense of humor and making laughter a normal part of our lives can help us in so many ways. Not only can humor improve our outlook on life, it can help improve our physical health. Laughter really may be the best medicine!

Do you find humor in everyday life? What makes you laugh most? Please share!



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  1. I love this post! I completely agree that laughter is vital to our lives. The quote was terrific also. I’ve always said that I don’t take myself too seriously and that enables me to laugh at the goofy stuff that happens in everyday life. Your advice to watch funny videos, etc. is something I do daily, because laughter is contagious!!! Here’s to more giggles than the day can hold! Best Wishes! Leigh

    1. Thanks so much Leigh! Like you, I don’t take myself too seriously – which is good, because I do some really ridiculous things sometimes.😁 My Hubby thinks I’m really funny, but a lot of the time, I don’t even mean to be…😂 Wishing you a day full of love and laughter!

  2. Such a true post Terri. With so much stuff happening in the world, in our lives and all the stress that we are bombarded with, laughter truly is the best medicine. We need humor in our lives to combat the negativity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent with family and friends sharing a laugh and for a brief moment forgetting everything and anything that was bad outside of my life. Great post with words to truly live our lives by.

    1. Thanks so much Mark! Like you, some of our family’s worst times have also included laughter, because like you said, it allows us to forget, for just a moment, whatever hard thing we were going through. And even when life is good, laughter makes it even better.😁 Wishing you lots of laughter today!

  3. I couldn’t agree more, Terri! Laughter really is a wonderful medicine – sure, it won’t cure our woes, but it can work wonders in the moment mentally and physically, and those little laughs each day will add up. I find laughing at myself is helpful to lighten the load a little, and then I try to search out the funnies when I need to so I love your suggestions. A funny movie, or browsing for silly cat videos, can elicit a good chuckle when we need it the most! And thank you so much for including my Funnies post as a suggestion, that’s really kind of you 🙏

    I hope you find lots of reasons to smile & have a chuckle this weekend! 💜

    Caz xx

    1. Thanks Caz! You make a great point about laughter not curing our woes, but being helpful in the moment. It seems a lot of the time, people think they can either be happy or sad, with no in-between, but we really can have those little flashes of joy, even in the tough times. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, filled with chuckles. I’m sure Virgil can help with that.😁

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