A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine: How Laughter Relieves Stress

May 1, 2022

Hi, I’m Brittany
I'm a Christian Counselor, Couples Therapist & Christ-Centered Yoga Teacher. 


Today, May 1st, is World Laughter Day. They say that laughter is the best medicine. Proverbs 17:22 reminds us that “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I think it’s funny that World Laughter Day falls on a Sunday this year. We as adults tend to grumble when it comes to thinking about going back to work on Monday’s, don’t we? The weekend is over and it’s back to the daily grind. But do you remember being joyful as a child no matter what? Laughing all the time? As adults dealing with the stress of life, we often forget to laugh.

Did you know that laughter actually relieves stress?

It’s true! Laughing releases endorphins in our brain (your body’s natural feel-good hormones) causing us to feel better overall. Check out these benefits of laughing:

  1. Laughing relieves physical tension in the body. Your body experiences the relaxing effects of laughter for up to 45 minutes after, and laughing also reduces pain.
  2. Laughing reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. When you laugh stress hormones are reduced in your body counteracting the stress response.
  3. Laughing improves self-esteem. Laughing promotes an overall sense of well-being, we feel good about ourselves in the moment.
  4. Laughing boosts the immune system. The stress response in our body, if not controlled, can manifest into physical health problems. Stress hormones can cause our immunity to be reduced, but when we are laughing, those stress hormones decrease and infection fighting antibodies are released.
  5. Laughing improves relationships. When you’re laughing together, relationships naturally become stronger. Laughing promotes bonding and reduces conflict.

7 Suggestions for adding laughter into your day:

It might be difficult to think about how you might add laughter into your day. Here are a few suggestions for you to try:

  1. Tell a joke
  2. Play a game with others
  3. Laugh at yourself
  4. Try Laughter Yoga (yes there is such a thing!)
  5. Spend time with your pet
  6. Watch a funny movie
  7. SMILE

Get out and laugh today! Find something that brings you joy and share it with someone you know.

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