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The Healing Power of Laughter

Recovery is the most important and serious decision we will ever make in our lives. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to take ourselves seriously all the time. Recovery is about more than just not drinking or using, it is about discovering a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in our sobriety. In our joyousness, there is laughter, and from our laughter, we can begin healing.

Mark Twain once said, “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” Taking everything seriously all the time is no way to live– we need humor and laughter in our lives. Laughter actually has major physical health benefits. In response to laughter, our bodies produce endorphins that can reduce feelings of pain; T-cells, interferon and immune proteins that strengthen our immune system; and lowers cortisol levels that decrease stress and relax us. According to PsychCentral, laughter also “Helps put life’s trials and tribulations into healthy perspective by making them seem smaller, aids us in overcoming fear, allows us to take ourselves less seriously, and triggers our creativity.”

Laughter and humor can also be healthy coping mechanisms when faced with negative emotions. According to Dr. Stephen Sinatra of the Heart MD Institute, “It’s undeniable – both humor and laughter can make you feel good and take the edge off of seemingly difficult situations. Humor is a great communication tool to relieve tension between people and facilitate relationship-building. As a coping mechanism, humor helps people diffuse difficult emotions such as anger, fear, grief, and sadness. In hospital settings humor can help both patients and their families by giving everyone permission to laugh and relax.” In recovery, emotions like anger, fear, grief, and sadness can be disastrous for our sobriety. Laughter can effectively shift our negative emotions into positivity or catharsis, and help us get through difficult times.

Taking ourselves too seriously can lead to stress, and major physical and mental health consequences. Dr. Stephen Sinatra further explains, “Humor and/or laughter can also alleviate emotional stress, which enhances health by helping to prevent stress-related illness. Remember that the sustained release of stress, or “fight or flight,” hormones can contribute significantly to hypertension, nervous system disorders, and other health complications. Besides diminishing stress, humor and/or laughter can simply make us feel better and put us in good spirits.” Humor is a necessary part of our health and well-being. In early sobriety, when stress, anger, depression, and anxiety can feel overwhelming and pose potential risks to our sobriety, taking the time to laugh and enjoy ourselves can be an effective way to overcome our negative feelings.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavioral and addictions specialists with spiritual guides and holistic experts to help you develop all the tools necessary to heal from addiction and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431