The best medicine for body and mind
Two nuns, a penguin and a man with a parrot on his shoulder walk into a bar. The bartender says, "What is this? Some kind of joke?" Laughter can be a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety – without a prescription and without side effects. Laughter relieves tension, improves our sense of well-being, serves as an outlet for anger and provides a healthy escape from reality.
Research has proven the benefits of laughter for our mental health. In one study, says Faiz Qadri, MD, director of the Creighton University Mood Disorders Clinic, movie-watching patients who watched only comedies for three months had measurably more enhanced positive attitude and social interaction than patients who watched a variety of types of movies. “I recommend to my patients that they watch a comedy every week,” he says.
Laughing man Our brains actually process laughter to produce mood-lifting brain chemicals.
“Laughter causes our body to release a bath of serotonin and other "feel good" chemicals into the blood stream and opens us up to experiencing a situation differently,” says Tian Dayton PhD, author of Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma to Resilience and Balance. “It reduces at least four of the neuroendocrine hormones associated with the stress response: epinephrine, cortisol, dopac, and growth hormone.”
Good for the mind; good for the body
Laughter is good medicine for our bodies, as well as our minds. By increasing our intake of oxygen, our bodies produce potent chemicals that relax muscles, strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure and ease digestion. It’s been found to cause the body to produce natural painkillers. A good belly laugh can provide a cardio workout. Dayton calls it "internal jogging."
How to bring more laughter into your life
Holding up, bouncing back
The Road to Resilience
How do people deal with difficult events that change their lives? The death of a loved one, loss of a job, serious illness and other traumatic events are all examples of very challenging life experiences. Many people react to such circumstances with strong emotions and a sense of uncertainty. Yet people generally adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful conditions. What enables them to do so? It involves resilience.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, threats, or even significant sources of stress -- such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.
10 Ways to Build Resilience