My parents have always been a little wacky. My dad is a regular Billy Connolly and my mom is quite zany too. During a typical day with them the sound of laughter fills the room. My laugh takes after my mom’s; an all out ‘you either love it or hate it’ chuckle that you can’t help but find infectious.
My parents have always instilled the importance of laughter in me, often saying that if you can laugh at the most dire of times it will see you through. The older I’ve grown, the more I’ve realized just how true that is. I’ll never forget how, whilst receiving treatment back in 2009, I went to watch Ruby Wax (who also suffered from depression) and how I gasped for breath during my gut wrenching laughs at her accounts which poked fun at the depths of depression. Laughter really is the best cure.
Although I’ve always valued laughter, recognizing it’s importance and how essential it can be to play, I’ve only recently discovered its proven health benefits. Of course there are the obvious psychological benefits such as lightning burdens, reducing stress, fear and anxiety, an increased sense of intimacy and happiness but there are physical benefits too. For example, it actually strengthens our immune system, reduces pain, gives us a surge in energy and perhaps most surprisingly of all, helps to prevent heart disease.
Below are just some of the ways you can introduce more laughter into your life, enjoy!