Laughter as Medicine
Laughter is powerful medicine. Who could deny the contagious joy and healing energy inherent in a child’s squeals and giggles? Or the throaty chuckle of a lover? They are empowering and life-enhancing. Laughter reduces stress hormones while triggering the release of endorphins, our bodies’ own feel good chemicals that alleviate pain and promote a sense of well being. It boosts the immune system, creates resilience, strengthens relationships, and promotes bonding. Laughter helps diffuse conflict and encourages teamwork. It manifests a sense of unity and oneness while dissolving isolation and separation. Did you know your body can not be in joy and pain or love and fear at the same time? Simply turning the ends of your mouth up in a smile stimulates the production of serotonin, the joy and well~being nuerotransmitter, while turning them down into a frown generates the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
There are many ways to utilize laughter as medicine: watching a funny movie, telling jokes, playing with a child, being silly, or finding the biting humor in and thus transforming a not so fun situation such as the socio-political state of the world. There are even laughter yoga classes now which are very therapeutic especially for suppressed emotions. This form of medicine is a no-brainer. All we need to remember is that we have a choice in every moment to choose love and laughter over fear and pain. True we need to acknowledge our pain in order to release it but laughter has the capacity to transform and release our attachment to the suffering and our victim story. This is the trancendent power of laughter, release without attachment.