Humor, Laughter and Play for Health
The idea that you can use humor, laughter, and play to promote your health probably seems too simple to be true. However, it really is true and that simple.
A sense of humor, laughter and play all have a part in keeping us healthy. There are benefits to increasing humor, laughter, and play into your life that will affect you mentally, physically and socially.
Humor and Laughter
The sound of laughter is infectious. Have you ever heard a belly laugh of a young child and been able to resist smiling in return? The sound of a roaring laugh is far more contagious than a sniffle, sneeze, or cough.
When laughter is shared between people, it binds them together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter is beneficial physically, mentally and socially.
Some of the physical benefits include:
- Boosted Immunity
- Lower stress hormones
- Preventing heart disease
- Relaxing your muscles
- Decreasing pain
Some of the mental benefits include:
- Easing anxiety and fear
- Improving mood
- Adding joy and zest to life
- Stress relief
- Enhancing resilience
Some of the social benefits include:
- Enhancing teamwork
- Helps to diffuse conflict
- Promotes group bonding
- Strengthens relationships
- Attracts others to us
What about Play?
Play is an important part of ensuring you stay healthy. We are often encouraged to make sure our children play, and are told of the benefits to children being out playing. However, what we often forget is that it is just as important for adults to incorporate play into their lives as it is for children.
There is no age limit to the advantages of play. Physical play is important for the elderly to ensure help delay or prevent cognitive decline. While the studies are still in the early stages, the studies that have been done have shown that physical play definitely plays a part in prevent cognitive decline.
There is also no situation that is too serious for play to be included. Playing at work is essential for getting through stressful situations.
Play gives people the emotional distance to rally from a hard day. This is true for people who have a dangerous job, such as a police officer, as well as for people who work in an office or from home.
Some of the benefits of play include:
- Stress relief
- Improved brain function
- Boosted creativity and productivity
- Improved relationships
- Helps you feel younger
Play is also great for relationships. It brings joy, vitality, and resilience to our relationships and also helps us learn how to trust one another and feel safe.
How You Can Incorporate More Play, Laughter and Humor Into Your Life
- Be more spontaneous – Being spontaneous helps you to get out of your head and away for your troubles.
- Smile – Smiling is the beginning of laughter. A smile is also just as contagious as laughter is. When you experience something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Smile at everyone you pass in the street, you will feel happier just by sharing a smile, even with a stranger.
- Watch comedy – Comedy shows, either live or on television or DVD are a great and effortless way to laugh more. There are tons of comedians to choose from, so there is something for everyone.
- Count your blessings – By making a list of all the good things in your life, you will see all the reasons you have to smile. Making a list of all the good in your life will also help you focus more on the good and forget about the bad.
- Spend time with fun, playful people – These are the people who find humor in everyday events. Their laughter is contagious. These are also the people who are more likely to be willing to play a game with you.
- Dance whenever you can – It sounds silly. However, letting your body moves gets your blood flowing and increases endorphins.
- Set up a game night – Game nights take minimal effort and will encourage laughter, play, and emotional release. Playing games together is a great way to stay connected and engaged with your family and friends.
Incorporating more play, humor, and laughter into your life isn’t difficult and yet brings a multitude of benefits to your life.
Taking even just fifteen minutes, a day to implement some of the above tips into your life is enough that you will begin seeing the positive effects.