The Power of Laughter

We have all heard the saying ‘laugh and the world laughs with you.’

Laughter just might be the most contagious emotional experience of all.

When you see people laughing together, you just can’t help but smile.

As a child I remember sitting opposite one of my friends, we both tried to keep a serious face as we looked at each other. The object of the game was to see who would laugh first. It always ended with both of us laughing.

  • Laughter induces a positive affect in people.
  • Laughter signals social interest.
  • We learn more when laughter and play go hand in hand with new skills.
  • We remember things that have a funny characteristic.

Laughter is good for the memory. People who use memory pegs find that humorous memory pegs are easier to remember.

Children’s lessons filled with laughter and play are easier for them to retain, especially when singing is involved as well.

As a grandmother, when one of my grandsons was naughty of in a bad mood, I would make them look at themselves in the mirror for five minutes. It would not be long before the cranky face and anger would start to melt away to a happy face and laughter.

Science has proven that a good sense of humour and the ability to laugh can be beneficial to you from physical, emotional and social aspects.

  • Laughter relaxes tension, lowers anxiety and boosts the immune system and circulation.
  • Laughter is beneficial to the respiratory system, it allows you to breathe deeper, improving the respiratory function.
  • Laughter protects the heart; it improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack.
  • Laughter is like a super food it strengthens the immune system.
  • Laughter also provides a workout for the muscles of the diaphragm, abdomen and the face.

Researchers determined that just 10-15 minutes of laughing a day can burn up to 40 calories. According to a Vanderbilt University study the increase of heart rate and oxygen consumption during these funny moments boosted the burn.

Sometimes people find humour in tragedies, in this respect laughter serves as a coping mechanism.

Laughter is good for relationships. Couples, who use laughter and smiling when discussing touchy subjects, are better able to cope, and report higher levels of satisfaction in their relationships. They also tend to stay together longer.

Laughter plays an important role in social interaction and bonding.

Looking at all these benefits, we need to laugh more often.

So I decided to share with you the funniest joke in the U.K.

‘A woman got into a bus with her baby. The bus driver says, “That’s the ugliest baby that I have ever seen, Ugh!”

The woman goes to the back of the bus and sits down fuming. She says to the man sitting next to her.

The driver just insulted me!”   The man says, “You go right up there and tell him off . Go ahead. I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

There is an old saying, ‘Do what makes you happy, be with those that make you smile and laugh as much as you can.’

A wise person once told me to always find a reason to laugh.  It may not add years to your life but it will surely add life to your years.

– Nancy


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