Humor is a healer

by Bob Walsh

If you’re anxious there are all kinds of things you can try to get over your fear. Millions of people take some pill or other form of medication to deal with their emotions, but I honestly don’t think that this is the right approach (with a few exceptions). Taking a pill to change your emotional state is a very convenient way of abdicating responsibility for something you can learn to manage yourself.

Therapy is another way, but today I want to talk about something else: having fun. Laughing about something silly. Making jokes.

Humor is a healer. When you laugh about a joke, it’s funny because of some sudden, unexpected shift of perspective. Humor makes you look at things differently and helps you to take things easier and not be so serious about them.

There is some kid of magic potion in a heartfelt laughter – even though there is no substance actually entering your body, there still are plenty of physiological changes going on. Science has revealed that laughing strengthens the immune system, among plenty of other benefits.

A 2006 study showed that even the mere anticipation of watching a funny video boosts the amount of human growth hormone (which increases the immunity of your body). The observed increase of the amount of human growth hormone triggered by the anticipation of laughter was 87%!

In 2006 researchers led by Lee Berk and Stanley A. Tan at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, found that two hormones — beta-endorphins (which alleviate depression) and human growth hormone (HGH, which helps with immunity) increased by 27 and 87 percent respectively when volunteers anticipated watching a humorous video. Simply anticipating laughter boosted health-protecting hormones and chemicals.

So make sure you get your daily dose of laughter somehow. Go out and have fun, meet people who you enjoy being with, watch funny silly clips on youtube and learn to be funny.


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