While living with mental illness is no joke, laughing for positive mental and physical health seriously works. In fact, evidence supports the claim that a joyful heart provides a similar benefit to that of medicine. Although not considered a replacement for medical treatment, some doctors are using laughter as an adjunctive therapy. In the short and long term, laughter has been shown to, 1. Stimulate/boost the immune system; 2. Alleviate pain; 3. Reduce anxiety and stress; 4. Reduce depression; and, 5. Promote a sense of hopefulness. What if you don’t feel like laughing? No problem, fake it until you make it. Physiologically speaking, for the most part, your body doesn’t know the difference. And, faking it often leads to the real thing which may be exactly the health supplement you need to get to the positive side of negative circumstances.
Sean Miller, Canadian Mental Health Association, mbwpg.cmha.ca