Laughter: Light Lessons

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the best medicine, just like Love and Hugs. It’s good for you!

Titter, chuckle, giggle, hoot or howl! Dissolve into Laughter! Roll and split your sides! By every degree, Laughter is a mental, physical, and emotional support system for you.

So, if laughter is the best medicine, what is in it that makes it work?

What is a laugh? Is it like a sneeze – that just suddenly comes upon you? Why do we laugh? For no good reason? How do we use this instrument of laughter? Is it like singing?


Laughter is a bi-product of surprise! The unexpected! It often bursts with a giggle or guffaw when you are caught off guard. When you are astonished or startled, you are left open-mouthed – and a laugh gushes forth. It’s funny! And fun!

Benefits of Laughing

Laughter offers the ‘blisst’ to you and your world.

Readers Digest magazine has long had a regular column, and published book called “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. It uses jokes, quotes, cartoon and anecdotes to help spread the fun and power of laughter.

Because there is power in your laughter.

Even chuckling can boost your immune system, and help your blood circulation… so it can play defense against heart disease.

A good laugh is a big release of stress and tension, which then relaxes your muscles. And more than that, it can lessen anxiety and enhance your mood.

Laughter makes you more mentally and physically resilient!

It can even make you more attractive! People who have a good funny bone are sociable beings, and often clever. They charm and engage others, because Laughter can make social connections almost instantly.

How does Laughter work with your body?

Just like Love and Hugs, Laughter releases those wondrous endorphins – the neurotransmitters that make you feel good.

A good laugh is akin to a good work out session! Sometimes you hold your stomach, or you say, Oh my belly hurts! That’s because your stomach muscles are involved in a good belly laugh.

Think about it – when you laugh or giggle, you are breathing deeply – sometimes gasping for breath! That means more oxygen for your brain. And that means better, sharper brainpower.


Laughter is also like yawning – it’s contagious! Network TV knew this long ago when they instituted “Laugh Tracks” on comedy shows to stimulate Laughter in all the right places. And it works! Laughter begets Laughter. And it bonds people together in a common emotional reaction.

Laughter is sharing! Not only laughing at comedy acts, but they participate in Laughter much more through chats, talks, gossip, conversation and discussions. It is all about reciprocal interactions.

Becoming Jesse is full of such laughter.

“It was supposed to be a fun and funny scene, but the amateur cast was self-conscious and stiff. Jesse stepped forward, saying, “I know how to get everyone laughing. We can play the Laughing Game!”

Dithering eye rolls skipped about the stage, but they followed his simple directions: hesitantly, they lay down on the stage and placed their heads on each other’s bellies! Instant giggle-snickens! Chortles! Guffaws! The more they laughed the more they laughed – erupting like kids at a carnival!”

Laugh Therapy

Norman Cousins was a man who put Laughter to the ultimate test. He was the editor of The Saturday Review when he became gravely ill and was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. He developed his own recovery program, as he says,

“ I made the discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an aesthetic effect and gave me hours of pain-free sleep.”

Cousins watched comedy shows and movies, and insisted that anyone visiting had to come in and leave with a joke. He called it his Laugh Therapy.

Needless to say, he was successful, and chronicled his story in his  book, Anatomy of an Illness as perceived by the patient.

Cousins was a lifetime believer in the power of hope and optimism… and Laughter.

Last Laugh

Laughter! It’s contagious! It’s surprising! Delightful! Full of good cheer! It’s good! For you!

Laugh on your behalf!