Laughter Improves your Mental Health
Have you ever been walking through the mall or in a parking lot when a complete stranger gave you a smile? Just that little bit of shared happiness can help lift a bad mood and improve one’s self-esteem.
The same is true for laughing. In a difficult situation, a sense of humor can help you keep a positive outlook. Laughing can also help clear your head so you can find a resolution to whatever problem challenges you.
When faced with the loss of a loved one, laughing out loud during a memorial service or funeral is generally not acceptable.
But speaking during a eulogy and remembering funny anecdotes about your loved one, jokes they might have told, or their silly quirks that always made you smile can help relieve some of the stress and despair.
Remembering the good times you had with your friend or loved one is a way to celebrate their life.
Here are some more mental health benefits of laughter:
- Laughter relieves sad or distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Laughter relaxes your mind and recharges your energy.
A good laugh can reduce your stress, increase your energy, and help you stay focused on the task at hand.
- Laughter improves your problem solving skills. It can help you see another perspective of an issue, thus allowing you to strategize different ways to solve the problem.
Laughing Strengthens Relationships
Laughter has a way of joining friends or family members together. Think of your closest relationships.
Are these relationships all serious and no fun or do you find yourself smiling and laughing with one another?
Sharing laughter adds joyfulness to any relationship.
It’s very difficult to think of disagreements or resentments when laughing with a friend.
Instead, sharing funny stories, memories, or jokes unites people, especially during difficult and stressful times.
Think about a child who is mad about something. They usually stand in front of you, arms crossed, lips pouting, maybe stomping their feet in disagreement.
Maybe the bottom lip quivers a bit, leading up to a cry.
Quick-acting moms will often tickle the upset child, tell a funny joke, or make a funny face before the waterworks start.
Most times the quivering lip turns into a reluctant smile, and the now-smiling child will pretend to be mad at having their mood changed.
Many adults can have their moods changed just as quickly (minus the tickling) just by invoking some humor into the situation.
Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:
- Be carefree and spontaneous. Everything in life seems great when you can laugh about it.
- Let go of judgments, doubts, and criticisms. Laughing puts you in a more positive frame of mind where you can most likely see the good in things again.
- Release self-consciousness. Your fears causing you to hold back are set aside.
- Express your true feelings. It’s much easier to approach difficult conversations when both parties are in a good mood.