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Written and reviewed by
Hypnotherapist, Diploma in Counselling Skills, BSIC, Advanced Trainee of Transactional Analysis, Advanced Skills in Counselling
Psychologist, Bangalore  •  14years experience
If people understood the benefits of laughter and it could be packaged and sold in bottles, then it would sell the most. Laughter and humour is contagious and easy to make and use. It has many therapeutic benefits besides just enjoying a good joke. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.

A. Laughter is good for your health:
1.Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
2.Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
3.Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
4.Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

B. The link between laughter and mental health:
1.Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing. You will feel lighter, happier and confident.
2.Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more. It has the capacity for a person to be in touch with the present and bounce back faster from problematic situations.
3.Humor shifts the perspective, allowing you to see situations in a less serious light. You will be able to see your own mistakes as errors of judgement, learn from them and move on. You will feel less anxiety and panic reducing your heart rate and muscle tensions.

Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.

C. Humour improves your Social Relationships
Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your love relationships— as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends. Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:
1.Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
2.Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
3.Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
4.Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface. Its easier for others to take constructive feedback when sandwiched between something light and positive.

D. Making opportunities to laugh together:
1.Watch a funny movie or TV show.
2.Go to a comedy club.
3.Read the funny pages.
4.Seek out funny people.
5.Share a good joke or a funny story.
6.Check out your bookstore’s humor section.
7.Host game night with friends.
8.Play with a pet.
9.Go to a “laughter yoga” class.
10.Fool around with children.
11.Do something silly.
12.Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, picnics, games)

However, it is important to keep in mind that you don’t laugh at someone or in their absence. Don’t resort to sarcasm and witticism, which is not clean humor and showing sensitivity towards other people’s sentiments. So take out your laughter arsenal and get ready to shoot.

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