Laughter is Good Medicine: Taking Care

The children’s movie, Monsters, Inc. has a pretty powerful message in it. Basically, adults in the city learned that there was enough power in the captured screams of the children to run their city’s infrastructure, ie energy. So they sent out monsters to scare the kids in order to capture the power in their screams (fear, really).

But, then they discoverd by accident that there was 10,000 times more power in the children’s laughter, so they sent out comedians instead to make the children laugh, so they could capture that power. This, of course, made for a happy ending.

Point well taken, don’t you think?

We’ve talked about the health benefits of laughter several times, such as:

Laughter – Good for your Heart

Laugh Away the Calories

To Laugh or Stress – the Choice is Our’s

Elizabeth Scott, M.S. writes about the effect of laughter on stress hormones, “Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol , epinephrine ( adrenaline ), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress. Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge’. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as ‘challenges’, thereby making them less threatening and more positive.”

Hara Estroff Marano  writing for Psychology Today points out how laughter improves your relationships, which has a positive effect on your health. Marano says, “Laughter establishes–or restores–a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people, who literally take pleasure in the company of each other. For if there’s one thing Dr. Provine found it’s that speakers laugh even more than their listeners. Of course levity can defuse anger and anxiety, and in so doing it can pave the path to intimacy.”

Laughter is truely good medicine, and one we should take every day, several times a day, for our health and our relationships, especially in the day in which we live.

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