How Laughter Can Reduce Anger And Increase Health

Dr. Purushothaman
September 23, 2013

Laughter is the best medicine. How many times have we heard that from any number of sources? Robin Williams starred in the movie Patch Adams about a doctor that strongly believed in that concept. Strange this is that the concept was not all Hollywood; there is something to it.

If you think about it, laughter can be used to reduce anger and improve your health. Have you ever felt awful when you were watching a comedy or listening to a good joke? I think not!

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you either had to laugh or cry you were so made? Life often throws situations at us that frustrate and anger us so much that we don’t know what to do. That frustration can manifest inside and wreak havoc on us emotionally if we do not enjoy some sort of emotional release; hence the need for a good laugh (or cry).

That is not the only way laughter can help reduce your anger. At one time or another every person has been in a volatile situation where something suddenly happened that made them laugh. When the laugh was done and over with were you still angry? The concept is similar to what parents often do with their children- distraction. You give your child a toy and they forget why they were crying; you enjoy a good laugh and you forget why you were mad.

There actually was something to all the health claims Robin Williams character made in the movie Patch Adams. When your body is stressed it releases certain hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, dopamine and growth hormone). Laughter does the opposite; it reduces the amount of those hormones your body produces. In the process of reducing the bad, it also increases the good; laughter tends to release good, health inducing hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters. T cells also become more effective and the number of cells that produce anti-bodies increases as well.

In short, laugh more and your body will thank you.


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