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The Healing Power Of Laughter

photo: Wowo


It’s free, easy, simple and fun. It will strengthen you physically, mentally, and socially. It’s (you guessed it) laughter. Did you know it had so many positive health benefits? And – more importantly – are you getting enough of it in your daily life?

Physical Benefits of Laughter

  • Boosts your immunity by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
  • Helps guard against heart disease, since it increases blood flow and blood oxygenation.
  • Physically relaxes the body.
  • Exercises countless muscles, including your abdominal, facial, and even your back muscles!

Mental Benefits of Laughter

  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones, making you feel happier.
  • Reduces the intensity of negative feelings or just gives you a break from them. It’s hard to be mad or sad when you are laughing!
  • Reduces stress and decreases levels of stress hormones, helping you to relax and recharge

Social Benefits of Laughter

  • When you share a laugh with someone else, it helps you increase the bond you share.
  • Regularly spending time with people you like to laugh with strengthens your relationships with them.
  • You are more likely to be able to diffuse conflict with the people that you enjoy spending time with.
  • Laughter also helps you feel less defensive, be less inhibited around others, and express your feelings more openly.

photo: doc(q)man

Need A Quick Fix?

If you’d like a quick dose of laughter in the course of your day, I have a few fun suggestions for you!

Text From Dog is a silly little blog written by a man who says, “My dog sends me texts. I post them here. Yeah. It’s weird.”┬áThe dog texts about the postman, the neighbors, and (of course) dog treats. Some of the texts are rated R, but if you (like me) think your dogs would have a lot to say if they could speak, this site will give you a good laugh.

If you like a little more sophistication in your humor, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency is a collection of columns by a variety of authors. They essays are sarcastic, smart and funny. Another website described McSweeney’s as “Highbrow comedy articles, essays and works of satire,” which is probably pretty accurate. You’ll find comedy lists, funny short stories, and satirical essays. Be warned, though, it’s easy to lose track of time once you start digging around on that site!

photo: Norma Desmond

Another site that’s always good for a quick laugh is Awkward Family Photos. This site is updated pretty regularly with mostly older (and cheesy!) family pics. The poses and wardrobes and hairstyles alone will make you laugh,and it might just remind you of your own awkward photos from back in the day.

Two more I will mention are Ugliest Tattoos (self-explanatory and definitely worth checking out!) and Funny India. The latter is a facebook page with various photos of crazy/odd/hilarious things you see in India. It doesn’t make fun of India or Indians, but just shows some of the scenes and signs you won’t see anywhere else.

What are your favorite humor sites? Do you have a couple of go-to pages that always make you smile? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!