Medicine

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‘Laughter is an instant vacation.’
Milton Berle

Feeling down? Try laughing more. Some research shows that laughter just might be the best medicine, helping us feel better and giving us a lift.

We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure rise, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.

Find ways to include laughter in your daily life. Share something silly about yourself with a friend. One of the best moments I had last week when I was really struggling with a tough thing, was when I shared it with a friend. I did something really ridiculous. She found it extremely funny and we both ended up spending a few minutes laughing about it. It can be easier not to share silly or embarrassing life things with others, but sometimes it can provide some of our best laughs.

When we are faced with very serious situations, it is not easy to see the good in them, let alone the humour. However, I realised over the past few years that finding the humour in serious situations is one of the best ways to cope with difficulties. It can be very hard to do this, but if you have the will to, you can always find the silver, funny lining in a situation.

When I am struggling, I try to remember the words of Stephen King, ‘Don’t deny laughter. Seek it out and let it stay with you as long as it likes.’

‘We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.’
William James

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