The Healing Power of Laughter: Laugh Your Way to Better Health

By DeLois Weeks, RN PhD

Why is Laughter so Good for the Body?

  • Helps Treat Insomnia
  • Improves Health
  • Improves Immunity
  • Boosts Memory
  • Enhances Creativity & Problem Solving Skills
  • Helps Teat Depression & Anxiety

Psalm 16:8-11 (ESV) “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” 

Laugher is Strong Medicine for the Mind and Body

A sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools to make certain that our daily mood and emotional state support good health.
— Paul E. McGhee, PhD

There’s an old adage that says: “laughter is the best medicine”

Laughing Has Wide Ranging Health Benefits

  • Laughter Relaxes the Whole Body
  •  A hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress leaving muscles relaxed for about 45 minutes
  • Laughter Boosts the Immune System by:
  • Decreasing stress hormones, increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which improves resistance to disease
  • Laughter Triggers Release of Endorphins
  • Endorphins (natural feel-good chemical) promote overall sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain 
  • Laughter protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which helps protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems  

Mental Benefits of Laughter 

  • Research has shown that intentionally producing smiles and laughter moves brain activity towards spontaneous happiness
  • We can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when we’re laughing 
  • Laughter Improves our ability to relax and recharge
  • Increases energy, helps us stay focused and accomplish more during your day 
  • Humor Shifts Perspective
  • Enables us to see situations more realistically--less threatening light
  • A humorous perspective helps avoid feeling overwhelmed 
  • Lifts burdens, inspires hope
  • Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring mind and body back into balance than a good laugh
  • With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for overcoming problems, enhancing relationships, and supporting physical and emotional health 


Ways to Start Laughing More

  • Move toward laughter
  • Routinely find the when you hear it humor in everyday
  • Laughter is more events beneficial when shared because it gives opportunity to laugh more
  • Bring humor into conversations 
  • Spend time with fun, playful people who laugh easily
  • Learn to laugh at yourself and at life’s absurdities 
  • Routinely find the humor in everyday events
  • Think of the funniest thing that happened to you and laugh
  • Smile—smiling is the beginning of laughter— like laughter it’s contagious
  • Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event
  • When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling
  • Count your blessings—literally make a list
  • The simple act of considering the good things
  • in our lives will distance us from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter
  • When we’re in a state of sadness, we have further to travel to get to humor and laughter!

Laughter is a Survival Tool 

It helps us de-stress, lear, cope, transcend, recharge, renew, hope, optimize, enjoy, create, meditate, digest, exercise, connect, engage, energize, oxygenate, release, persist, and preserve.
— Christa Scalies