The Importance of Laugh Therapy :)

Many thanks to @gramybear and @JayCS for the laugh therapy you bring to us, with quotes and memes depicting the woes of living with FMS in a way that tickles our funny bone! Seenie and Merl from @ModSupport have also been known to “tickle our funny bone” from time to time! I always knew that laughing “helped,” but here are some actual scientific facts about this topic from the Mayo Clinic:

Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke

When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered. Here’s why.
By Mayo Clinic Staff

Whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.

Stress relief from laughter

A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your 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.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects

Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • RELIEVE PAIN. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

Improve your sense of humor

Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — sense of humor? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think.

  • Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies, books, magazines or comedy videos on hand for when you need an added humor boost. Look online at joke websites. Go to a comedy club.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.Consider trying laughter yoga. In laughter yoga, people practice laughter as a group. Laughter is forced at first, but it can soon turn into spontaneous laughter.
  • Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.
  • Knock, knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library’s selection of joke books and add a few jokes to your list that you can share with friends.
  • Know what isn’t funny. Don’t laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren’t appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad or hurtful one.

Laughter is the best medicine

Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you’ve had your chuckle, take stock of how you’re feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That’s the natural wonder of laughing at work.

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Thanks for the reminder, AussieMom! Another of the great things of this forum, hardly to find anywhere else on the web, apart from single memes, something I neglected at first, in my serious just-looking-for-answers-phase, but have very much grown to cherish.
Table tennis is my main source of laughter, btw… :smiley: The worse the weather, the more laughter…
I’m not good at making or telling jokes, but at least I can get very silly, and love not acting my age. And can find (& I hope judge) memes.
There is such a thing as real ‘laugh therapy’, i.e. “artificial” laughing in groups, only for therapeutical reasons, I don’t mean a comedy show. Makes me cringe a bit, but I’m not judging. Interesting that it isn’t in this article from the Mayo Clinic - maybe it makes them cringe too? :wink:
Reminds me of pretty unsuccessfully looking for things that make me to laugh at when my flare started. Now - after finding things to get the pain down and leaving off the bad treatment forms - it’s become easier again… :smiley:

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I’ve read about that, JayCS. It’s truly (as the youngsters would say) “a thing”. I suppose the real thing (laughter generated by something you find deeply and genuinely funny) is the best, but I’ve read somewhere ??? that simply the physical motions of laughter have benefits too.

I love that article, AusieMom. Thanks! Would you mind posting a link of where you found it? I’m thinking all 77K of us could use a “refresher”.

Seenie

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LOL Seenie, JCS beat me to it on posting a link - That boy is always on his toes! I LOVE his energy! :star_struck:
Hey @JayCS, they do talk in the article about Laughter Yoga (Under the “Laugh and the world laughs with you” bullet). I had never even heard of that! I imagine if you were in a group of folks that you were familiar with, practicing laughing may indeed lead to “actual” laughter! It does sound a little comical…I may look up more about “Laughter Yoga!” :upside_down_face:

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Thank you, JayCS! Ever ready with help.

S

In my case any or all yoga would be laughter yoga. LOL

S

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HAHAHA - ME, TOO, SEENIE!!! NOW I’VE HAD MY BIG LAUGH OF THE DAY!!! (Who needs yoga???)

Here we go! A link to an article where the writer tried “Laughing Yoga” and jumped in with both feet. I find it really interesting that (as stated in the article), your brain doesn’t process why you are laughing - whether at something funny, or if it is a forced laugh - The result appears to be the same!

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Lettuce :leafy_green: all ways re member, it’s butter :butter: 2 laugh thin two cr eye :eye:. Yore’s trewly, Freedom

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Freedom, you made me smile 2day too! Thank you! :upside_down_face: