No Joke: Is Laughter Truly the Best Medicine?

Laughing-SmileyYesterday was April Fools Day, so we thought we’d ask the relevant question for the day: Is laughter truly the best medicine?

Turns out, it’s not bad.

The Mayo Clinic writes a piece titled “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke.” They add: “When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered.”

The post provides short-term benefits: “When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:”

  • Stimulate many organs.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response.
  • Soothe tension.

And long-term benefits: “Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:”

  • Improve your immune system.
  • Relieve pain.
  • Increase personal satisfaction.
  • Improve your mood.

Further, Europe’s Journal of Psychology runs an interview with Dr. Arnie Cann of the University of North Carolina Charlotte titled “Research on the Role of Humor in Well-Being and Health.” As the abstract states, “In this interview, Dr. Arnie Cann discusses his research and views on the ubiquitous role of humor in psychological health and well-being.”

As Dr. Cann describes: “In some sense, I have been searching for evidence to support what felt very true for me; that humor plays a part in maintaining my well-being. ”

And that’s no joke.