Exploring The Health Benefits of Laughter For Seniors

The Benefits of Laughter For Seniors

This Is No Laughing Matter, What?

This pandemic year has been a difficult year with not much to laugh about. But people are getting vaccinated, and public activities are going forward.
So, pick a day, July 1st, for example, to go outside, look up at the sky, and let out a good belly laugh. That is the world’s best medicine.

It’s a fact: Laughter keeps you young.
It improves blood circulation to the head and heart.
We at Kabb Law recommend having a good belly laugh every day to improve physical and emotional health.

There is even an activity called Laughter Yoga which advertises that they bring more laughter into your lives with daily laughter exercises.
A medical doctor, Dr. Madan Kataria, developed the program because it is a proven fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. So, why not take a laughter yoga class, even if it is fake laughter.

For years the medical field has been examining the importance of humor.
As far back as the 1300’s a professor of surgery, Henri de Mondeville, used humor as part of post-operative therapy.
Kavita Khajuria, MD wrote in the Psychiatric Times that journalist, Norman Cousins, developed his own laughter treatment using ten minutes of laughter every evening to produce two hours of pain-free sleep.

The Mental Benefits of Laughter

Simon (The Psychologist) Says

Besides just feeling good, laughter releases endorphins which relieve stress and laughter activates serotonin which is a natural antidepressant.

Some of the proven benefits of laughter are:

  • Eases anxiety, stress, and grief
  • Diffuses anger
  • Helps to make scary situations less intimidating
  • Motivates you to relax and have fun
  • Improves your mood
  • Strengthens your resistance

There is an organization called Stand Up for Mental Health that uses stand-up comedy as a healing device.
David Granirer, a counselor and comic, “trains people to turn their experiences with mental health challenges into standup comedy routines.” Then these trainees take their shows on the road to treatment centers, mental health organizations, college and university campuses, and other venues.

The Physical Benefits of Laughter

Laugh With Your Exercise Physiologist

Did you know that there are also many physical benefits of laughter?
According to the Mayo Clinic “A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.”

Laughter can:

  • Stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles.
  • Cool down the stress response and decrease your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, which helps reduce physical symptoms of stress.
  • Boost your immune system by releasing neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Become a natural pain reliever.
  • Protect your heart by lessening the body’s stress responses.
  • Burn calories – 10-15 minutes of laughter burns 40 calories.

The Social Benefits of Laughter

The Keys to The Laughter Kingdom

There are social benefits of laughter because it is contagious and fun.
It brings people together into a laughter community.  And, there is a 79-year-old Harvard study that claims that embracing community is the key to a long and happy life.

Laughter is The Best Medicine

So, in order to fully leverage the benefits of laughter as a senior, be it mental, physical, or social, our recommendations are

  • Have a good belly laugh daily
  • Smile more often
  • Hang out with people who are fun
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Don’t take life so seriously
  • Spend time with children and pets
  • Try laughter yoga

We, at Kabb Law, love to laugh. Please share your best laughs with us at 216-991-5222. We have a prize for the joke that wins!