It has only been during the past few years that laughter therapy has been recognized and accepted as a form of therapy. People typically enter therapy due to serious issues, so integrating laughter in therapy sessions in the past seemed out of place. However, studies show that laughter has therapeutic benefits.
What is Laughter Therapy?
Laughter has been undervalued for its healing benefits because our society has always identified laughter with only humorous things. However, laughter therapy has been proven to be very successful in helping to deal with and heal emotional pain. As mentioned before, laughter therapy is a form of therapy that encourages the use of natural physiological process of laughter, specifically to release the painful emotions of fear, anger and boredom.
Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter
The reason that laughter therapy is now being widely used by many therapists is that studies show laughter triggers the release of endorphins which produce a general sense of well being. Laughter therapy, therefore, plays a vital role in the healing process of an individual. Contradictory to the general perception that laughing is a way to hide painful emotions, most psychotherapists believe that laughter is a releasing emotion and, by way of laughter therapy, individuals are able to restore their personal power and will cease to feel like a victim and be able to cope with the pain.
How Can Laughter Therapy Help You?
Laughing at your misfortunes will not change the facts. However, by way of laughter, you are able to see a different perspective of the situation. It allows a bird’s-eye view where you can reassess the situation without feeling fearful of being trapped by the circumstances that are beyond your control. It releases the fear emotion which is often where emotional distress originates. Deep laughter has been known to help disable panic and anxiety attacks. By way of laughter, people are able to reconsider a specific stress or threat to be less overwhelming. Deep laughter releases anxiety and makes the situation more bearable as discomfort decreases.
Laughter therapy is also known to help deal with anger management. It is a gentler and less threatening way to address anger. It also releases boredom which incapacitates the feeling of numbness and low self-worth.
Other Benefits of Laughter Therapy
Apart from the emotional healing aspects of laughter therapy, other known benefits of laughter are:
- It activates and increases the activity in the immune system. Studies also showed that it strengthens the body’s immune system.
- It decreases the production of stress hormones.
- It provides a workout for the diaphragm and increases the body’s ability to use oxygen. Laughter provides a good cardio conditioning.
- Deep laughter results in muscle relaxation.
- Laughter has also been know to prevent hypertension,
It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. Another great thing about it is that it has no known side effect…and it’s free!