Laughter is the Best Medicine

Dear Caregiver,

More Than a Cliché

You’ve heard the expression before – “laughter is the best medicine.” But it’s more than just a cliché phrase. There is some truth behind it. Think about it. We’ve all had a tough day where things just weren’t going right. Then, something made you laugh. You instantly felt better, right? This is because laughter is healing. There is actually science that backs this up.

Laughter is Good for Your Health

Besides just making you feel warm and fuzzy inside, laughter also has a ton of mental and physical health benefits that are proven to help you live a happier, healthier life.

It Reduces Stress

Let’s face it, we are all stressed for one reason or another. But as a caregiver, you have an added layer of stress. So you need a way to reduce that stress. Think about the last thing that made you laugh. Now think about how it made you feel. Happy and relaxed? This is because laughter reduces your level of stress hormones, such as adrenaline; and increases your level of health-enhancing hormones, such as endorphins. These ‘feel-good’ hormones are then released into the area of your brain that is responsible for emotion. So the more you laugh, the better you will feel!

It Boosts Your Immune System

Stress is tough on your body. Being over-stressed and burnt out can weaken your immune system and cause you to get sick more frequently. On the other hand, the stress relief and increase in positive emotions caused by laughter can actually strengthen your immune system.

It’s Good for Your Heart

We don’t have to tell you how important it is to take care of your heart. It’s what keeps us going by providing oxygen and important nutrients to our brain and other vital organs. Laughing increases your heart rate and the amount of oxygen in your blood. This improves the vascular function and can actually decrease your risk of heart attack.

It Improves Your Mood and Strengthens Relationships

Laughing is an excellent way to improve your mood. Nothing cures a bad mood quite like laughter. It can eliminate anger and depression and produce a general feeling of well-being. And people want to be around happy people. So when you are in a good mood and laughing, you are likely to attract other happy people. Sharing a laugh with friends and family can help you feel more connected to them, forming a strong and lasting bond.

Laugh More

So how can you add more laughter to your life? It’s not like it’s something you can just add to your schedule. Here are some ways to naturally increase laughter:

  • Find humorous entertainment. With podcasts becoming more popular over recent years, there are plenty of funny podcasts you can listen to. There are also plenty of silly shows on TV that will make you laugh out loud. If reading is your thing, read a light-hearted book that makes you laugh.
  • Spend time with pets. You had a tough day at work, got stuck in traffic on your way home, and realized you forgot plan dinner. You’re in a bad mood. But then you get home, and your pet greets you at the door. You instantly forget why you’re upset. Spending time with pets is proven to make you feel better.
  • Try laughter yoga. Yes, it’s a thing. Here is a link that tells you all about it.
  • Host a game night. If a game night with friends and/or family doesn’t get you laughing, what will? There are plenty of fun games to get you giggling like Apples to Apples or Charades.

When the stress feels like it’s piling up, take a deep breath and do something that makes you laugh. After all it is the best medicine!

Yours truly,

AT Home Care and Hospice

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