You’ve probably heard the saying before and we will say it again, “laughter is the best medicine.” As it turns out, there’s actually some scientific truth behind the old proverb as studies have found that laughter may have healing properties, plus it can be contagious. Although laughter is not a listed medication in the new Trust Robin Wound Care app, we always highly recommend it for every single patient. Here are just five reasons why you should start laughing today!
1. Laughter can be contagious
You know that feeling when someone smiles at you and you just can’t help but smile back? That’s due to what is called mirror neurons which is what makes many believe that laughter is contagious. When you’re feeling down, finding friends to laugh with can help your brain trigger its own laughter response and foster closeness, both of which contribute to your sense of wellbeing.
2. Laughter reduces stress
When you laugh there’s a contraction of muscles which increases blood flow and oxygen through your body. This stimulates the heart and lungs, triggering the release of endorphins that help you feel more relaxed both physically and emotionally.
3. Laughter increases resilience
The ability to acknowledge mistakes without becoming angry or frustrated plays an important role in developing resilience. Laughing at our own mistakes allows us to recognize that making errors is a part of being human. When you’re able to see a failure as a natural progression towards success rather than as a negative outcome, you will be that much closer to happiness and success.
4. Laughter fights depression
A great way to get outside of the downward spiral to depression is to laugh. Being unhappy can become a pattern or mindset if we don’t step outside of ourselves occasionally. By being a witness to our situation rather than allowing ourselves to feel the victim, we can find the humour in it and see things from a fresh perspective. Even forced laughter releases a mixture of hormones including dopamine which can start to improve your mood.
5. Laughter relieves pain
It’s not that people who are laughing experience less pain than someone who isn’t. However, there are reports that those who laugh are less bothered by the pain they do experience. It’s not about changing pain levels. The amount of pain remains the same, but your perceived pain levels reduce and your belief that you can cope increases. Laughter by itself is by no means the solution, but it sure can help a person to overcome discomfort for the time being.
So how can you bring more laughter in your life? Make humour a priority by reading a funny book, watching a comedy, or listening to your favourite comedian. Share laughter with friends by telling funny stories and spending more time with people who have fun. Remember that life is funny. Your ability to laugh can be nurtured through practice so start by prioritizing more fun into your life. Finally, don’t forget to download the new Trust Robin Wound Care app today for those occasions where laughter just isn’t quite enough medicine.