Surprising Health Advantages of Laughing: How Humor Helps After a Difficult Diagnosis

Happy Senior Woman

Improved mental and physical health are two advantages of laughing.

Have you ever caught yourself about to bubble over with uncontrollable laughter at the most inopportune moment – in a packed elevator, a hushed waiting room, or a religious service? While there are, of course, occasions when we need to control the silliness, author Jane Heller explains that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”

The advantages of laughing are extraordinary, including:

  • Releasing endorphins that lessen anxiety
  • Strengthening brain connectivity
  • Delivering a social boost
  • Decreasing pain
  • Enhancing the immune system
  • Improving mood
  • Protecting the heart from coronary disease
  • Stimulating circulation and muscle relaxation, both of which alleviate stress
  • and so many more

Although there is absolutely nothing amusing when it comes to getting a difficult medical diagnosis for a family member, there are ways to retain an inherent sense of positivity that may lead to additional possibilities for laughter:

  • Be deliberate about adding bits of humor throughout your home/office, which can include a favorite comic strip, meme, amusing photos, etc.
  • Look into a laughter yoga class – yes, there truly is such a thing!
  • Modify your reading material and TV viewing to add additional lightheartedness. Include joke books – or explore the internet for new jokes to be included in your collection.
  • Spend time with friends and family who lift your spirits. Recount prior experiences together that make you laugh, and create new ones!
  • Don’t forget to laugh at yourself, changing your internal dialogue from reprimands for mistakes to the comfort in realizing we are all human.

Remarkably, even though you do not feel like laughing, positive aspects can certainly still be achieved through faking or forcing laughter, according to certified health coach Nancy Kalish.

CareWorks Health Services’ caregivers help bring joy and laughter to older adults and respite for their families each day. As one of the top-rated home health agencies in Orange County, CA, our friendly senior companions spend quality time with older adults, engaging in conversations, games, puzzles, exercise, fun outings, not to mention, an abundance of laughter. And with our full selection of in-home care services, which include meal prep, light housekeeping, and tending to personal care needs, family caregivers and the senior citizens they love are able to spend more high-quality time simply taking pleasure in each other’s company. Allow us to help brighten your world! Call us at (949) 859-4700 any time to find out more and to arrange for an in-home consultation.