It’s good to laugh

Laugh Neon-light Signage Turned on

My top 5 favourite comedians are:

Billy Connolly

Amy Shumar

Lenny Bruce

Stewart Lee

Ellen DeGeneres

We like comedians because they make us laugh.

And while it is fun to laugh, it is also good for our health.

Laughter is like a medicine. It stimulates a physical and emotional change, boosts our spirits, strengthens the barriers to pain, and helps minimise our feelings of stress and anxiety. When we are children laughter is natural, easy and spontaneous. Then we become adults and life takes over and everything becomes serious and the sound of laughter quietens, even dies all together.

But with laughter having such a power for good, and being available free of charge, how can we bring it into our lives more often?

How to laugh more?

If we wanted to become physically fitter we might set aside a regular time for exercise; a daily or weekly commitment to walking, running, swimming, cycling or going to the gym. If we stick at it then in time it might become a habit, and not a chore. Eventually, maintaining and building fitness would become woven into our life; it would be a natural part of our expression of ourselves.

We can do the same with laughter. We can build our laughter fitness in the same way we build our physical fitness. Of course, we can’t go from zero to hero in a day and we don’t train for a marathon by running a marathon, at least not straightaway. But if we start slowly, and build, we will reach our objective…eventually.

It starts with a smile

Smiling is infectious; when we smile at someone they will smile back. And if we start out smiling we might just end up laughing.

But what if we find it difficult to laugh? Then we must look for encouragement from those people around us who laugh a lot and we must try to spend time in their company. Friends, colleagues, children; we should go to wherever we can find laughter that is carefree and sincere.

Shared laughter is the best laughter. It builds strong and lasting bonds and injects joy and happiness into all relationships.

We can search for and find laughter in the entertainment offered through films, TV shows, books and radio; we can have our favourite comedians who consistently make us laugh when we watch them or hear their routines. But most fulfilling, by far, is the sharing of laughter with another.

The social interaction that comes as a result of laughing with another or others, the shedding of our inhibitions, and our bravery to be open and trusting, all have demonstrable positive impacts on our mental health, our levels of stress and our emotional happiness.

So, it’s not only good to laugh, it might just be one of the most important skills we can learn.