“A day without laughter is like living in darkness; you try to find your way around, but you can’t see clearly.” Emily Mitchell, author.
Laughter is certainly strong medicine, for the mind, body, and soul. I don’t think people realize how important a good laugh is until you haven’t had one in a while. Experiencing a healthy laugh can immediately lift a negative mood, improve pain, and relieve stress.
Organ stimulation and improved immune function are physical benefits discussed by the Mayo Clinic. You may even experience an improvement in your focus, mental clarity, and problem-solving ability after enjoying some laughter during a stressful situation.
Let’s not forget about the digestive benefits. What is your digestion like if you are eating while stressed, angry, depressed, or anxious? Think about those family dinners where everyone is arguing around the table. GI distress, including indigestion, heartburn, bloating, gassiness, and IBS symptoms are sure to follow. Compare that to having a meal with family and friends, while reminiscing over old funny stories, having a good laugh while eating. The digestion is more likely to move smoothly with less issues after eating. Laughter helps to reverse the physiologic changes associated with stress, which can help improve digestion.
With the holiday season coming, now is a great opportunity to enjoy a hearty laugh with the ones you love. Take the time out to try to lift someone else’s spirit with laughter, and you will reap the benefits as well. Happy holidays!