With the advancements of modern society, time for fun and laughter is often neglected. Has life become too serious and could this be contributing to the increase in stress related disorders and chronic health conditions? Could the simple act of laughing really have a positive impact on our physical health and mental health?

Laughter is believed to have positive effects on our overall mental health and our immune system. Dr. Annette Goodhearth (1935-2011), psychologist, was the first to create a theoretical therapy framework for the use of laughter during treatment. In her book, Laughter Therapy, she talks about various ways we can include more laughter into our life to enhance our health. Dr. Brian King, a psychologist and stand up comedian, also has published a book that some may find interesting entitled: The Laughing Cure: Emotional and Physical Healing.

Here are a few tips that may help you bring more laughter into your life:

  • Make a point to read a joke everyday or watch a funny movie
  • Seek out people who are playful and fun
  • Play fun board games with your family
  • Bring humour into conversations by sharing a funny story about yourself
  • Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up (e.g. screen saver on your computer or phone that makes you laugh)
  • Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself

Laughter has a way to work really fast to relieve the burden of stress, connect us to people and help us stay grounded. Why not give it a try for a few weeks, what’s the worse that can happen.

Christine Belliveau, Psychologist

"Humor, more than anything else in the human makeup, affords an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds."    (Victor Frankl)