Dec 022010
Soul Laughter by Summers

As we go about our daily lives, it is easy for the challenges we face to pile up and overwhelm us. Before we realize it, we accumulate more stress in our body than we know how to manage. Left unchecked the stress can affect our productivity, mood and health. At times like this, I laugh. No, it is not because I have lost my mind, but because laughter is good for the soul. In fact, I value laughter so much that I try to laugh at least a few times each day.

The Benefits of Laughter

Studies show that when you laugh on a regular basis, you gain the following benefits:

-Lower stress levels
-Stronger immune system
-Good moods
-Lower bad cholesterol and higher good cholesterol

But these are not the only reasons I love to laugh.

Laughter by Merala

Why I Love to Laugh

1. Laughter Makes Me Feel Good

It never fails to amaze me how a good laugh can change my mood. I might be feeling blue or my heart may be heavy with burden. But after a hearty laugh, I suddenly feel more buoyant. My whole perspective changes and the world becomes a more cheerful place as well. It seems as if anything is possible. This is why I always make it a point to have a good-hearted belly laugh when I can.

2. Laughter Helps Me to Relax

When I have a lot to do or tight deadlines to meet, it is easy for stress to build up in my body. At times like these, a good laugh reminds to take things less seriously. It does not matter if it is sitcoms, spoofs, deadpan or campy humour. All of these are my favourite forms of humour and they work equally well for me. After a good dose of laughing therapy, I end up feeling more relaxed and less stressed. In fact, I always look forward to my favourite Korean drama each evening to have a good laugh.

3. Laughter Clears My Mind

Sometimes, when I have a lot on my mind, it can be hard to think clearly. The more I try to resolve an issue, the worse it becomes. I can stubbornly mull over a problem for a long time and not find an answer. By then, I would have become too deeply involved to see things clearly.

Instead of pressing forth relentlessly, I have found that it is good to stop, take a step back and laugh. Laughter clears my mind and helps me to focus on the present moment. I cannot laugh whole-heartedly and think of my problem at the same time. It is one or the other. Through laughter, I gain the clarity and detachment I need to find a solution to the challenge I face.

4. Laughter Creates and Strengthens Bonds

Laughing is great, but it is better to laugh with others. It is fascinating to watch how a good and hearty laugh establishes a bond between strangers when there was none before. Laughter helps to break down barriers and create common ground between people. Naturally, a good laugh between friends is one of the joys of life. This is something we should all do more often.

Laughing Man by Jawcey

Taking Action

If there were such a thing as a free lunch, laughing is it. Laughter costs you nothing and gives you many benefits in return. So whenever you are feeling blue or troubled, try to find a way to make yourself laugh. One way would be to keep a ready supply of jokes or comedies that tickle your funny bone. That way, they are always within reach when you need a good laugh.

Do you like to laugh a lot? When was the last time you laughed? What tickles your funny bone? Do share your thoughts and comments below.

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  21 Responses to “Laughter is Good for Your Soul”

  1. It may be trite and overused, but laughter really is the best medicine. You give some really good points to back this up too.

    Stress is one of the biggest killers and like superman has his Kryptonite that seriously weakens and can aid in defeating him one of the best natural combatents for stress is simply laughter and “getting your mind off of your stress”

    Thanks for a great post!
    Steve@Lifestyle Design recently posted..Get More Blog Traffic Blueprint Week 3My Profile

    • Hi Steve,

      Love your Superman analogy! :D

      Yeap, stress is really a silent killer. You are not really aware of it as it happens and by the time you are, it is probably pretty bad. If the natural way to reduce my stress is through laughing and it has no side effects, then I am going to use it regularly.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  2. Great post. We all know laughter is contagious. How many of us smiled just looking at your photos on this post? There was a YouTube video making the rounds awhile back of a baby laughing. That was it–the whole video. This baby was sitting in a high chair just laughing hysterically. He would pause, glance at the camera, and just start all over again. Deep baby belly laughing. No one could watch it without laughing out loud. So in this season of colds and flu, maybe we could spread some laughter germs around.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Wake Up- Grow Up- Show UpMy Profile

    • Hi Galen,

      I am glad you liked the photos I chose! :)

      Babies laughing are adorable. They remind us about how important it is to be in the moment without a care in the world. Haha deep baby belly laughing! I love your choice of words! :D

      Hmm laughter is good for all seasons, but you are right. It would help to spread some laughter germs around now to make people feel better!

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  3. Hi Vizier,

    Very nice post! Laughter really has so many benefits. It helps us to think positive, improves our health, among other benefits. We all should take time to laugh during our day. Thanks for sharing
    Dia recently posted..How to deal with a stubborn personMy Profile

  4. “Smile, breathe, go slowly. ~Thich Nhat Hanh”

    Everyday I try to remind myself above ;)

    When I start my day with a good laugh it shines for the whole day, so I try to deliberately squeeze a smile every morning :)
    sandy recently posted..Sit your urge outMy Profile

    • Hi Sandy,

      That is a lovely quote by Thich Nhat Hanh! It is simple and profound at the same time. I think that it is a good quote to remind yourself every morning. It definitely sets you in the right mood to face the day. :)

      Getting the beginning right is important. If you can begin the day with a smile and a laugh, the rest of the day is likelier to go well for you.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  5. Hi The Vizier,

    Laughter is a great antidote to stress – it’s like releasing the valve on a pressure cooker.

    A great quality is to be able to laugh at yourself. We can sometimes take ourselves too seriously but, when we’re willing to laugh at our own actions, we can let go of this. After all, some of the things we do and say can be so ridiculous that it’s hard not to have a smile on our faces! ;-)
    Scott McIntyre recently posted..7 Slow and Steady Steps to Turn Your Passion Into Your JobMy Profile

    • Hi Scott,

      I love your analogy! Releasing the valve on a pressure cooker is a great way to describe the effect that laughter has on stress!

      And I fully agree with you. I love to step back at times to laugh at myself and my actions. It does help to place things in perspective and to help me take myself less seriously. I am so serious at times that my friend loves to call me “Serious Man,” so I could lighten up a bit from time to time. :P

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  6. Laughter is food to our souls! Great work!
    jonathanfigaro recently posted..10 Things You Can Start Doing Today To Be BrilliantMy Profile

  7. Laughter indeed is the best medicine. What’s best from doing inner work is the ability to laugh at myself. Whenever I gain the awareness to step aside, I laugh at the absurdities that I put myself through. To more laughter, smiles and sunshine!
    Evelyn Lim recently posted..Claim Your Right To AbundanceMy Profile

    • Hi Evelyn,

      It’s good to be able to laugh at ourselves especially in a “kiasu” (afraid to lose out to others) society like ours. The more we laugh, the easier it is for us to handle the stress that comes from living in a fast paced society. Indeed, I second you. To more laughter, smiles and sunshine!

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  8. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by evelynlim, Amit Sodha. Amit Sodha said: RT @evelynlim: Laughter is Good for Your Soul via @AddToAny [...]

  9. an excellent article, laughter is something that certainly keeps my stress levels down, though i don’t laugh without reason, something i can’t do in any case, so i make sure to do everything that makes me laugh. for example watching the “drew carry show” or watch “Jim Carrey” movies. I do watch shows like the “tonight show” and other such Tv programes which, as you say, “tickles my funny bone”.

    I have seen that forced laughter is not as effective as the real one, so i make sure i go through enough humor throughout the day so as to keep the real laughter going. also keeping a good, sense of humor, helps. that way you will find a lot of things funny and might even get a few laughs where others might struggle.
    Health Votes recently posted..Health bloggers – Do you Apply What you ReadMy Profile

    • Hi,

      It is good to see that you know how to make yourself laugh and keep your stress levels down in the process. It is also as you say, laughter becomes easier the more you laugh. I never thought that practice would make perfect with laughter, but it does make a whole lot of sense here. I better get down to more practicing myself haha!

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  10. Laughter is one of life’s great pleasures.

    Laughing with others can be so pleasant that you remember it for a lifetime.

    If laughter isn’t a part of your life, you’re not living to the fullest!

    • Hi Bamboo Forest,

      It’s great to see you again! :)

      I am glad that we share the same views on laughter. After all, what kind of life would it be if we did not know how to laugh at all?

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  11. The old axioms about laughter have been around for quite some time and hold a degree of truth to them: “Laughter is the best medicine, laughter feeds the soul, laughter protects the heart……

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