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A Healthier You

A Noninvasive Therapy To Improve Mental Health That Won’t Cost You A Penny

Woman Laughing

05/29/2019

(Forbes) – Gaining a competitive advantage in today’s world is serious business. The problems we face as a society are serious as well. Even the most seasoned business leader can become weighed down with life’s challenges, and we rarely perform at our best when we feel that way. Sometimes we need to lighten up. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves not to be so serious.

The non-profit Mental Health America reminds us that humor—and especially the gift of laughter—is a potent weapon in the battle against mental illness.

  • Laughter suppresses stress hormones and releases endorphins
  • Laughter is a physical experience, stimulating heart, lungs, and muscles
  • Over the long term, humor can help us build a stronger immune system
  • Humor can also facilitate team-building and decrease burnout

There is growing evidence and truth about the cliché that laughter is the best medicine.

One researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital conducted the first objective study of the role of laughter in psychotherapy. He found that laughter is more than just humor—it is a way to communicate emotion and convey what cannot be expressed in words. Moreover, when two people share laughter, it is a validation of those feelings. Laughter becomes a shared experience of empathy.

Other therapists are successfully using laughter to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. The mediation of humor, they find, helps patient confront distressful memories while experiencing far less emotional affliction than usual.

Read the full story at forbes.com


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