In today’s society, people are constantly stressing over many aspects of life – money, career choices, relationships, and family issues, just to name a few. If you have heard people say, “Don’t take life so seriously,” it just may be a life-saving message you should pay more attention to.

It is absolutely necessary to push all the responsibilities of being a grown-up to the side from time to time and just laugh!

Think back to childhood and being surrounded by friends while playing. Remember all the games you shared, not a worry in the world, and so much laughter? Children seem to be full of energy and at times an unstoppable force. They have the ability to laugh at anything, including themselves.

Now fast forward to the present. Those fun-filled attitudes have been hijacked by work duties, family responsibilities, and the stress that comes along with the daily grind. We have forgotten how to laugh and have fun! Not engaging in humorous activity periodically might be causing more damage than you think.

Laugh Worry Away

When someone enjoys a good laugh, it can reduce the amount of stress they are feeling. People tend to feel more relaxed after a good laugh. The brain gets a message of enjoyment when a good laugh is taking place and releases the endorphin dopamine. Dopamine is the “feel-good hormone”. It is associated with feelings like euphoria and bliss.

The dopamine produced from a shared laugh counteracts any stress one is experiencing. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with stress because they too can boost the level of dopamine hormones. Unfortunately, this is an artificial way of producing the hormone and can damage the natural production of dopamine if abused over time. Laughter produces dopamine naturally and there is no damage at all. So laugh as much as you want! It’s impossible to overdose on laughter!

If the factors responsible for the stress are not addressed, it can lead to a nasty bout of depression. Many adults face periods of time when they seem to spiral out of control with everything they have going on in their lives.

Stress from work, relationships, mortgage, and utility bills are things that all adults deal with pretty regularly. If people don’t take time away from those things it is easy to become depressed. Laughter has been known to assist in pulling someone out of that downward spiral. It’s been their medicine for stress and depression.

Your Heart Likes a Good Laugh

People who laugh more often tend to have a longer life span. Many people are just not happy and walk around wearing a constant frown or scowl. Laughter is beneficial to your heart. That’s right. Laughing is like internal cardio. When you laugh, you are also burning calories!

That doesn’t mean running out and canceling the gym membership, but it’s certainly clear that laughter is great for heart health. The next time you find yourself in a situation where you are angry or frustrated, try to find a reason to laugh. It will lower your stress instantly, along with the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Now that’s a healthy dose of natural medicine that anyone can swallow.

A Natural Pain Reliever

When someone is experiencing pain, a good laugh can help. There are some people who laugh during a painful situation and often say things like, “I am laughing so I don’t cry.” That’s not a crazy thing to say. Laughing during a painful time can make the pain less bothersome. It does not take care of what is causing the pain but can help subside it for a while or make it more bearable.

If you have ever seen a friend trip and fall, you have probably wanted to laugh at their clumsiness. Maybe they went down with flailing arms and it seemed to go in slow motion, or perhaps it happened at the most inopportune and embarrassing time. Either way, you both probably chuckled about it later, or maybe a little giggle while you helped your buddy up off the ground. Laughing is the distraction needed to get through the moment.

So Many Opportunities to Laugh It Up

Laughter isn’t a scheduled event. Unless of course, you are attending a laughter yoga class, which is a real thing and very therapeutic. Laughter should be spontaneous and good-spirited. Call up your friends and family to enjoy a game night. Grab your significant other and go see a comedy on the big screen or take in a funny play in your area.

No matter what avenue you choose, the point is to just get out and enjoy a good laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine to have on hand.