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Perspectives on Laughter

Joy Idries

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Have you ever noticed that when you are caught up in a stressful situation for a while, you are much more likely to pick up a cold or flu? And when everything's going well you don't get sick as often? It's been shown in medical research that both stress and laughter have effects on the immune system, one having negative effects and the other positive ones. Laughter helps to stabilize blood pressure, stimulate circulation, aid digestion, increase oxygen supply to muscles, decrease muscle tension, and leaves you with an overall sense of well-being to name just a few.

Negative thoughts, actions and states on the other hand, such as worry, hopelessness, anger, stress, even just frowning, seem to suppress the body's natural healing mechanism, because negative emotion has a suppressive, controlling effect. We crave relaxation. Try frowning now and see what that feels like . . . it's a contraction, a tightening. Laughter and smiles can help us to relax and expand. It's hard to be sad, depressed, stressed out or anxious when you are wide open and laughing. Try smiling and see how that feels . . . more expansive and happy.

As Candace Pert, the famous neuroscientist who wrote the book “Molecules of Emotion" says:
"The chemicals that are running our body and our brain are the same chemicals that are involved in emotion. " So paying more attention to your emotions can be a very important health management

The past cannot be changed. What is done is done. But how you see and what you feel about the past can be changed. You can hang on to your anger, grief, self pity, OR you can set yourself free and heal your past with humour, fun and laughter. You can surround yourself with positive and supportive friends and choose to practise a more positive focus on purpose. In addition meditation can help you get in touch with a much more expanded sense of who you are which helps to put problems in perspective.

According to Max Eastman, " We come into the world endowed with an instinctive tendency to laugh. " When we pick up on that instinct to take a lighter view of the world, to see the funny side of things we end up with the resilience we need to cope on the tough days. Learn to laugh at yourself BUT don't be so open-minded that your brains fall out! (ha) Humour provides hope for the future by helping you to take off the dark glasses that otherwise lead you to focus on seriousness and all the difficulties ahead. Laughter can empower you by allowing you to gain a wider perspective and what often happens then is that it becomes easier to step out of any sense of being the victim.

I remember hearing a story once about a woman who had two prosthetic breasts following a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. One day as she bent down to pick something off the floor one of her breasts fell out and the family dog, thinking it was a new toy, instantly snapped it up and started to run around with it firmly gripped between his teeth. She ran after the dog, shouting, “Come back here with my breast!" until she suddenly became aware what she was saying. At this point she burst out laughing and laughed and laughed until the tears rolled down her face. All this laughter made her realise just what had been missing in her life since her cancer diagnosis when all laughter had stopped. From that time on she was determined never to let another day go by without having some laughter in her life. She realized that she needed to laugh, even when she didn't feel like it. The laughter itself boosted her spirits and made it easier to face the tough days.

So remember, it might be a good idea for the sake of your own good health to organize your life in such a way as to have lots of laughter in it and to keep as positive a focus as possible. And remember also that your reality is determined by how you look at it and how you look at it is really down to you.

Joy Idries shares her passion for Spiritual Growth, Healing and Fun through her weekly ‘Love Laughter’ newsletter. If you want to learn how to get in touch with your inner light and joy through laughter, to reduce physical and emotional pain AND boost your immune system all at the same time, claim your FREE E-COURSE ‘The Benefits of Laughter and Playing On Purpose’ now at ~ Also see more at and


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