Deal With Stress

A Healthy Dose of Laughter Therapy

LaughterLaughter is contagious and good humor is easily passed on to other people around you.  Basically, it feels good to feel good, and laughter is the key to changing your mood and spirit.  Of course you can’t always be in a good mood.  Some people and situations are so annoying that it’s almost impossible to stay pleasant and friendly.  However, those people who find laughter in everyday life are using humor as a healthy form of therapy.

There is a whole new field of therapeutic laughter where humor is used to treat chronic pain associated with cancers, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.   Many doctors and therapists prescribe to their patients a daily dose of jokes, comedies, games, light-hearted movies or anything that causes a hearty belly laugh or at least a few good chuckles.

Research is showing that by watching a 15-30 minute segment of a funny sit-com or movie, you can   increase blood flow to the heart and reduce the strain and stress put on it.  Even the anticipation of laughter has benefits by lowering stress hormones and increasing your natural pain defenses.  Just 10 minutes of good hearty laughter can keep you pain free for hours.

I recommend watching reruns of MASH, Seinfeld, Raymond, Two and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory for a guaranteed daily dose of laughter.  Jay Leno’s Headlines are always good for a jolly belly laugh and old–time comedians like Carl Reiner, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, etc can be just what the doctor ordered.

Encouraging others to laugh will help you maintain your sense of humor and develop it into a daily habit.  Not only will you learn to appreciate the lighter side of life, but you will also live longer, since laughter is associated with boosting immune cell activity and reducing the high levels of stress hormones linked to certain diseases.

Laughing makes you feel better and it’s also a lot of fun.  When you see people laughing, you can’t help but join in to share in their merriment.  Laughter is truly contagious.  Don’t just catch the bug.  Spread it around!

Author Bio: Amy Sherman,, is a therapist, author and Relationship Coach.  She is the author of “Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life” and Joy of Optimism 10 Lesson eCourse.  Go to for more information and get your free copy of “7 Secrets of Midlife Happiness.”

One reply on “A Healthy Dose of Laughter Therapy”

I’ve always loved laughing. It really does reduce stress. I’ve heard that an hour of laughing can add 10 minutes to a person’s life. I don’t know how true that is, but I’m willing to give it a try!

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