(Posted on November 15, 2016)

laughing-through-grief_steps

A dog goes into a bar and orders a martini. The bartender says, “You don’t see a dog in here drinking a martini very often.” The dog says, “At these prices, I’m not surprised.”

All kidding aside, it has been proven time and time again that humour is good for us. The expression “laughter is the best medicine” may well hold true. But why?

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can’t cure everything, but there is increasing evidence of all the positive things it can do:

  • When we laugh we take in more oxygen which stimulates the heart, lungs and muscles
  • Laughter can stimulate circulation and muscle relaxation, which can help reduce some of the stress symptoms we feel
  • Laughter can even increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies which leads to improved resistance to disease.
  • A good laugh may help relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers
  • Laughing causes the brain to release endorphins which, for those experiencing depression or anxiety, can help them to feel happier.
  • Humour can change our perspective of certain situations, making them less threatening, and creating psychological distance which can help to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

humour-blog_reneeThere are social benefits to laughter, too. Sharing a laugh with someone helps to create a positive bond which acts as a buffer against stress, disappointment and disagreements.

Laughter is a natural part of life. Within weeks of being born, babies will begin to smile, and will laugh after just a few months. Sometimes life can leave us feeling like, perhaps there isn’t much to laugh about. And in the aftermath of a tragedy, laughter may seem impossible. However, many of our family members have told us that laughter helped them cope with the tragedy.  So what can be done? There are ways to focus on bringing more laughter into our lives. In doing so it is possible to actually kick-start your sense of humour. Try these tricks:

  • Place some items that make you smile, chuckle or laugh around the house.
    Greeting cards, photos, cartoons are all good choices.
  • Spend time with friends who make you laugh, by getting together for coffee or dinner or hosting a games night.
  • Treat yourself to a funny movie, stand-up comedy show or tune in to your favorite weekly sit-com on television
  • Browse the comedy section of your local library or bookstore
  • Spend time playing with a pet.humour-blog_marj

These are just a few ideas of how to bring a smile to your face. Now it’s your turn. We
would like you to share with us, and others, the things that make you laugh. In the comments section below please share your favourite tasteful jokes and quotes and stories.
Laughter is contagious, so let’s spread it around.

Lorna Catrambone

Lorna Catrambone

Lorna Catrambone is the regional development coordinator for Threads of Life in central Canada. She is an experienced fundraiser and non-profit professional.
Lorna Catrambone

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