Laughter and humor have existed in every society as a means of human well-being, divinity and society. Everyone feels uplifted after a good laugh with friends or just watching a comedy. Humor can help us forget our troubles temporarily but it can also help change our mental attitudes in a way that can improve our health. Laughing and appreciating humor can also have numerous benefits to people who are struggling with a mental illness.
Many studies have proved that humor not only is laughter good for overall mental health, but a strong coping mechanism for a number of mental disorders. Evidence based research from the science of humor concludes humor can “relieve pain, strengthen immune function, improve positive emotion, moderate stress, dissociate from distress and improve interpersonal processes.”
Laughing is a way to improve our mind, body and spirit and even bring us together so that we connect with others in a meaningful way. Humor has been proven to cause physical and emotional changes in the body that can help heal people. Laughter can relax the whole body, relieve stress and tension, release endorphins, boost the immune system and may even extend our life span.
Humor can have immediate mental health benefits by stopping distressing emotions such as anxiety, anger and sadness. It can act as a great coping mechanism to relieve stress and prevent tension from building up. Most importantly humor can shift your perception of situations so that things can seem less serious or threatening.
Someone who is able to develop a humorous perspective can create psychological distance from feelings of depression, anxiety or being overwhelmed. Humor can quickly diffuse difficult feelings and conflict while lifting a person’s mood. Laughing with other people can strengthen relationships, foster a sense of closeness and help diminish feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Achieving good mental health is a combination of many different factors, but humor can play an important role in maintaining and developing positive feelings. Sharing humor with others and keeping a humorous mentality in life can make day to day struggles much easier and prevent depression from escalating. When it comes to mental health, laughter really is some of the best medicine.