Laughter is the best medicine. It may be a hack cliche, but it's more true than ever. A new study proves that it truly is as good a pain reliever as popping an ibuprofen. And while some of us have better senses of humor than others, the fact that laughter is good for something other than just having a good time is great news, indeed.
Scientists believe that evolution favored laughter over the years as a means to draw us together socially. And even though we're no longer apes, the fact is, laughing just feels good.
In the study, those who had recently laughed were much better at tolerating mild pain than those who hadn't. This is largely because the physical act of laughing causes endorphins to release in the brain. So take that those of you who can't laugh in scary situations! Those of us who do are favored by evolution! (That was a JOKE, by the way.)
In all seriousness, there is a reason why people who have good senses of humor are more pleasant to be around. My husband and I crack each other up most of the time and all of my closest friends are people who make me laugh. A lot. And I know I do the same for them.
People who don't laugh are just not that much fun. And even more so, they aren't favored by evolution. When I can choose between laughing at something and not, nine times out of ten, I will choose to laugh. Even at things that may not seem "appropriate." Sometimes laughter just feels healthier.
And all this time, I have been right! Sometimes, when things get hard or painful, the only thing you can do is laugh. So rent some Larry David DVDs or watch some Modern Family on the DVR. Spruce up the old sense of humor and stop taking everything so seriously.
It may just be the difference between being in pain and not.
Do you value laughter?