Developing a Practice of Laughter
Studies have shown that the benefit of laughter are many and especially helpful in anger management. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, provide a distraction and a physical release, diminish negative emotions, and allows for a new perspective. Best of all, the practice of laughter is fun, free, and easy to use. Here is a summary of the benefits of humor:
- Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of ‘fight or flight’ hormones cortisol and adrenaline released during the experience of anger. It also increases the level of health enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. All this means a more resilient immune system, as well as fewer damaging physical effects of anger, stress and anxiety.
- Physical Release: Have you experienced the purifying feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides both a physical and emotional release. A good belly laugh works the diaphragm, contracts the abs and the shoulders leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good exercise for the heart.
- Distraction: Laughter takes the focus away from anger, stress and anxiety in a more advantageous way than most other distractions.
- Perspective: Studies show that our response to angry situation can be altered by whether we view it as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge’.. Humor can give us a more optimistic perspective and help us view situations as ‘challenges’, thus providing a less threatening and more upbeat outlook.