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Laugh It Off
Laugh It Off, humor

Can laughing affect mental well-being?

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it seems they are not far wrong. Research has produced plenty of evidence to show that laughter has positive effects on our mental well-being. Whether it be a loud belly aching laugh or a little giggle, there’s nothing like laughter to give you relief from stress and help you unwind. There a various benefits of laughing that could improve your wellbeing.

How is laughter good for you?

We all know that we feel emotionally better after a good laugh, but studies show that laughing also causes physical changes to our bodies. So engage in a little bit of humor to experience the benefits of laughing.

These are just some of the effects of laughter on your physical and mental well-being:

It provides stress relief. When you are stressed your body releases excess amounts of a hormone called ‘cortisol’. When you laugh, your intake of oxygen increases which helps regulate your cortisol levels. A good laugh also helps regulate your heart rate and blood pressure.

It helps your body relax. Stress causes your muscles to tense up. Your intake of oxygen when you laugh stimulates your circulation and relieves those stiff muscles. That oxygen also benefits your heart and lungs through stimulation.

It helps lift your mood. Laughter releases extra endorphins, the hormone that triggers a positive feeling in your body, and a sense of mental well-being. This makes you feel happier and less anxious.

It helps diffuse anger. It’s difficult to be angry while we are laughing. At the same time, if you find yourself in a tense situation, laughter can help diffuse the conflict.

It can strengthen your relationships. Sharing laughter helps us connect, helps to build and cement our bonds, and adds joy. Humour is a powerful way to unite people.

It helps change our point of view. If we look at the funny side of a situation it can help us see things in a less threatening or scary way. It can also help us to take things a little less seriously.

How to bring laughter into your life:

Remember to smile. Lift your mood by smiling if you see something cute, entertaining or pleasant – a smile is just moments away from a laugh and is as contagious.

Look at the positive side of life. Negative thoughts block fun and laughter. Focus on the small joys in life and you will find many reasons to laugh.

Seek out opportunities to laugh: There are a host of funny memes, images, podcasts, videos and movies that can bring laughter into your day. Follow people or sites that are all about healthy humor. Plan to give yourself a couple of five-minute laugh breaks every day, where you consciously have a look at something funny that will make you laugh out loud. While you are at it, share the laughter with others! and experience the benefits of laughing.

Spend time with people who make you laugh. Spending time with negative people can rub off – so rather spend time with people who laugh easily, who make others laugh and who see the positive side of life.

We have partnered with Company Wellness Solutions (CWS), an independent service provider, to offer you help and support. Click here to access Our Wellness Helplines.

You also have the option to speak to a CWS expert via a chat box. Click on the ‘chat now’ option and to speak to a Mental Health Specialist, Legal Advisor, Debt Counsellor or Personal Trainer/Dietitian.