Most people are often attracted to places where there is joy as opposed to a gloomy environment. Laughter is one of the natural medicines which has been used by humans across the world for centuries. Ripoll & Casado (2010) state that in contemporary medicine, humor is categorized as one of the 24 personal strengths which enhance savoring, well-being, and promote flow states. One of the evidence-based relevance of this therapy, as reported by Sousa et al. (2019), is that it strengthens the immune system. Psychologists are developing techniques to include humor in their therapy sessions. However, individuals can also find entertainment through the media, stand-up comedies, and even funny conversations with peers and gain similar results. This essay aims to describe the benefits of humor on physical health while providing some real-life examples.
Laughter exercises the organs of the body, thus, strengthening muscles to function better. Some years ago, one of our neighbor’s children was molested by her uncle. The girl was only seven years old, which made the abuse devastating. As expected, she was taken to a hospital, and the man was charged. After about one month, the girl was discharged. However, the child had not uttered a word since the fateful day, which stressed all her caregivers. She attended counseling sessions, but all she did was look blankly in the air or draw. On one of those days, a stand-up comedian was hosting a live event in our town, and the family purchased the tickets. While the comedian was telling jokes, this child guffawed so hard that tears came out of her eyes. It was a time of celebration as she started expressing herself and talking when they returned to their residence. Although the emotional pain partly hindered her ability to speak, there was also a physical issue, which was resolved by laughter. The story shows how humor can be effective in restoring speech.
Humor can make a person heal faster than anticipated by doctors. According to Sousa et al. (2019), laughter improves natural killer cell activities and increases the level of immunoglobulin. Last year I had an accident while cycling to a friend’s place. The doctors insisted that it was nothing serious and dismissed me after giving me some anti-tetanus and pain killers. That night I could not sleep as my knee became swollen, and I had some excruciating pain. I was rushed back to the hospital, where the second assessment revealed that I had suffered a grade three anterior cruciate ligament and needed immediate surgery. The operation was successful, but I felt so disappointed that the medic underestimated the tear initially by just giving me painkillers. Nevertheless, my prognosis was good because I complied with the doctor’s recommendation and my brother told me humorous stories. It was those joyous moments and strict adherence to a medication regimen that made it possible for me to resume sports sooner than anticipated.
Human hormones are often fluctuating depending on several internal and external factors. Laughter lowers the levels of cortisol, adrenaline (epinephrine), and dopamine, which are responsible for the adverse physical effects of stress (Scott, 2020). According to Scott (2020), chortling leads to a higher number of endorphins, which improves the quality of life and makes the T-cells perform better in protecting the body against infections. Besides, when there is a secretion of the positive hormones, the person becomes more active and is likely to engage in exercises that further boost their wellness. These pieces of evidence have resulted in humor being listed as an alternative medicine available for patients who want to recover and healthy people to enhance their quality of life.
Skeptics may argue against the fact that humor contributes to bodily wellness because the connection between chortling and physical health is not apparent. Some may discourage hysterics for patients who have just undergone specific types of surgery to prevent the tearing of tissues. This may be true in some cases, but only until the surgical wounds are healed. In their research, Gonot-Schoupinsky et al. (2020) included primary studies on laughter published from 1970. The findings from the research shows that there are numerous biological benefits of chortling. The genetic make-up of a person can be influenced positively when they live in a joyous environment. There are many facts (such as the release of happy hormones that enhance the function of T-Cells) that support the effectiveness of humor on physical health (Scott, 2020). Moreover, researchers have not discovered any negative implications of this wellness therapy.
The knowledge of this therapy is useful for my personal life as I can utilize it anytime. For example, when feeling sluggish I can watch a funny clip to activate the happy hormones to be released in my bloodstream. Resultantly, I will become more active and engage in exercise or other duties. At the workplace, I will keep my colleagues in an elevated mood with the help of humor so that they are motivated to work. When a worker is sick, I can visit them and share stories that will make them chuckle to promote quick recovery.
Conclusively, being happy is a choice that has many advantages to the immune system of the body. The story of how my neighbor’s daughter started talking after a comedy experience is an example of what this therapy can do. In my case, recovery from the accident was faster because my brother was always there to make me chuckle. There are several research studies such as Scott (2020) which have been done for decades, all proving that laughter enhances the biological make-up of individuals. Contrary arguments are, thus, baseless given that there is no evidence for humor having detrimental effects on the body.
Gonot-Schoupinsky, F. N., Garip, G., & Sheffield, D. (2020). Laughter and humour for personal development: A systematic scoping review of the evidence. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 37(101144), 1-42. Web.
Ripoll, R. M., & Casado, I. Q. (2010). Laughter and positive therapies: Modern approach and practical use in medicine. Revista De Psiquiatria Y Salud Mental, 3(1), 27–34. Web.
Scott, E. (2020). How laughter can relieve stress and help your immune system. Verywell Mind. Web.
Sousa, L. M. M., Marques-Vieira, C. M. A., Antunes, A. V., Frade, M., Severino, S. P. S., & Valentim, O. S. (2019). Humor intervention in the nurse-patient interaction. The Brazilian Journal of Nursing, 72(4), 1078–1085. Web.