You might have seen the film ¨Patch Adams¨ (and the ¨real¨ Patch Adams´ website) or heard of Clowns going around in hospitals to brighten children and adults' days alike.

In fact, medical studies have already highlighted the healing power of laughter:

"Laughter is a type of eustress that releases the negative emotions that cause harmful chemical effects on the body (Berk and Tan, 1996) (Diggs, 2004). Similar to exercise, there are two stages to laughter: the arousal phase--when the heart rate increases--and the resolution phase--when the heart rests. A person's heart can increase to 120 beats per minute (bpm) when laughing. Laughing can lower a person's blood pressure, increase vascular flow, and improve the immune system. It works out the diaphragm, abdominal, intercostal, respiratory accessory, and facial muscles. Laughter also releases endorphins in the brain which are the bodies' natural painkillers (Wooten, 1995)."Read the full paper here

Eustress . Did you notice that term?
"Eustress is positive stress, that comes from positive challenges or exciting experiences."

Books are written about the benefits of laughter. If you prefer a 3 minutes video report on a medical research project by a Maryland University team, click here.

Believe it or not, many religions seem to agree on this too. Such as: (apologies to the many religions or philosophies that are not represented here!)

  • As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul. – A Jewish Proverb

  • As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it. — Lao Tsu

  • A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. —  The Bible (Proverbs 17:22)

 

So, practically, how do you do that? It´s definitely easier to get laughing with somebody else, and we´re not always ready to look for the fun side of a situation that affects us, let alone laugh at it. Here are a few tips, tapping along of course :

  • Imagine somebody is describing the situation you´re in. Find the humourous aspects of it.

  • Make every aspect of the situation and people so outrageously big that you HAVE to laugh at it.

  • Imagine you are 100 years old, and you´re telling the story to entertain a child.

  • Find just one laughable aspect and focus on it until you relax enough to look at the rest of the situation.

  • Imagine you see a film with your favorite actors in your role and in the role of other people involved.

  • Get yourself a picture / cartoon / drawing that makes you laugh and tap, looking at it,

  • any other ideas?

 

Enjoy!

Does that help? Comment below or contact me !