Updated: Apr 14
1. Laughter and Joy are Contagious
Laughter strengthens every kind of relationship. According to a new study, laughter truly is contagious: the brain responds to the sound of laughter and preps the muscles in the face to join in the mirth. "It seems that it's absolutely true that 'laugh and the whole world laughs with you," said Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at the University College London. The problem is that we have discovered that anxiety, fear and hatefulness are also contagious. This means that we truly have a responsibility to consciously choose which we want to commit our lives to spreading? Laugh at the little things, find humor in the seemingly big and challenging things, share in others laughter and let it spread like JOY on fire. Remember, a sense of humor is free, but with it, you can help to heal and alter for the better your life and the life of others.
2. Laughter and Joy Chase Away Fear
Are you ever afraid or anxious? Laughing offers an extremely effective and fun way of dealing with fear and anxiety. Because your mind cannot hold opposite thoughts simultaneously, laughter chases your fear away and helps your body release your pent up anxiety. Laughter helps you view your life and its stressors from a different, much lighter perspective. Remember the old saying, "If I didn't laugh, I'd cry." That is because fear and sadness cause one reaction in our bodies and minds, while laughter causes the complete opposite. What could you accomplish with your life if you could keep fear far away? Maybe live the greatest dreams in your heart? I think that is a real possibility.
3. Laughter and Joy Alleviate Stress
Laughing is similar to exercise. Have you ever said "Stop, my stomach hurts from laughing so much." That is because when laughing we are actually contracting stomach muscles. Similarly to exercise, the relaxation benefits of laughter are fantastic. The harder we laugh, the more endorphins are pumped through our body. This is great for elevating stress and relaxing our bodies. Need more? Laughter also boosts anti-aging hormones, and enhances your ability to express yourself creatively.
So, next time you realize that you are feeling tense and stressed out, treat yourself to your own personal Happy Hour (or even Happy Minutes, it still works!) Your body will thank you for it.
4. Laughter and Joy + Immune System = Health and Happiness
Laughter actually protects your health. Medical research has shown that laughter or even the anticipation of laughter (for example, if you knew that you were about to watch a funny film) increases the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and foreign cells. How could something so entirely enjoyable help fight off cancer cells? Who cares?It’s simply wonderful to laugh. So, next time you are in bed feeling poorly, fins your funny and try laughing your way back to good health! Go to Netflix and find on your favorite funniest films, go to YouTube and type in funny, let your loved ones tell you their worst jokes, read your favorite funny author, and you should be back out of bed in no time.
5. Laughter and Joy Bring Light to Our Darkest Days
Laughter has the same cathartic effect as a reassuring hug; a reassuring smile, a warm chuckle or playful joke lets you know that everything isn't as bad as your anxiety wants you to imagine. When we laugh, we are usually making light of something, which actually brings light to our days. So, whether you are going through troubling times or you know someone that is, bring out the jokes, comedies or funny stories of past – they will prove to lighten any heavy load in life. I believe laughter truly might be the secret of the universe, or at a minimum the secret to happiness.
6. Laughter and Joy Ease Pain
Laughter alters our body chemistry. The feel-good chemicals and hormones that are released within our bodies when we laugh, as well as the positive mind frame that we create for ourselves, have proven to eliminate pain. Recognized by science to help reduce pain, so, if you know somebody currently living in pain of any kind, try injecting some much-needed laughter into their life. Instead of an opiate crisis we should be promoting and enjoying a laughter crisis. Can laughter be a crisis? Well maybe if it makes you need to wet your pants.
7. Laughter and Joy are Bonding
Laughter is bonding. When you think of your greatest friendships one of the first things that will come to your mind are the wonderful, funny experiences you have shared together.
My mother used to say, "Laughter greases the wheel of conflict and keeps it rolling to resolution." When we find those special people we can laugh with, we treasure their presence in our lives, and as a special bonus, our great relationships help us live longer lives. Laughter is one of the most beautiful and fun ways of bringing people together; whether we want it to or not, it connects us with the people around us and allows us to all share in a feel-good moment – building and nurturing relationships, as well as leaving us feeling connected and uplifted.
8. Laughter and Joy Make You Smarter
Now this one I love. When you laugh it changes your bodies chemistry in positive ways, one of the greatest ways it changes you is that it improves brain function. Laughter stimulates both right and left hemispheres of the brain igniting creativity. . . . Laughter can increase problem-solving skills, helping you become more efficient at daily tasks. Laughter refreshes your brain, allows creativity to flow, and make you a better and easier person to work with.
This is another of the wonderful reasons why laughter and happiness in the workplace causes employees and the businesses they work for to be more successful.
9. Laughter and Joy Help Love Last
Ina classic psychological experiment conducted in 1992, where 52 couples were recorded telling their personal, shared histories. The team noted whether the couples were positive and effusive or were more withdrawn and tired in telling these stories. Three years later they then checked in with the couples. They saw a correlation in how couples told stories about their past and the success of their partnership: the more giddy the couple was about a story, the more they laughed together, the more likely they were to have remained together; the less enthusiastic the couple was, the more likely the couple’s partnership had crumbled.
According to Laura Kurtz, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina, “In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships.”
10. Laughs but not Least . . . Laughter and Joy Makes You Sexier
In a comprehensive survey published in the American Journal of Play men ranked "good sense of humor" as the most attractive quality in a romantic partner. Similar qualities such as "being fun-loving" and "having a playful nature" were also in the top five most desirable qualities, way ahead of physical attractiveness in ninth position. But wait. . .there's more . . . for women, the results were almost identical. An OverJOYed laugh life can definitely improve your love life.
So why not throw your head back and set your happy free?
Happiness and relationship expert Dawn Billings is an author of 15 books and hundreds of articles and creator of the Happiness Curriculum of OverJOYedLife.com Dawn is also the founder of RelationshipHelp.com and creator of the ONLINE relationship programs called Relationship Help At Home.