We have all heard the phrase “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” But have you thought about going down the tangent of using comedy and humour to deal with psychological issues?
When we think about therapy, detailed description and discussion about one’s problems and issues as well as introspection about one’s feelings, thoughts and emotions come to time. We rarely think about how therapy can be humorous and how comedy can be used for psychological benefits. However, laughter and humour have a significant impact on mental health. The therapeutic benefits of laughter are hardly ever explored in the realm of psychology. However, there are many studies and evidence backing up the fact that comedy and laughter have a great impact on mental health. Let us explore how therapy and comedy can be integrated. Furthermore, let us take into account how high time we bring into light, the importance of laughter in our lives.
Why Comedy Therapy?
Comedy Therapy even known as therapeutic humour is often used by people to deal with problems like anxiety, depression or a short temper. It is also a valuable form of therapy for the caregivers of people suffering from mental health disorders. Practising comedy Therapy together will be beneficial for both, the caregiver and the person being cared for.
People with chronic illnesses like cancer or other issues often feel helpless and desolate due to their issues and can find relief and comfort from this form of therapy. Why Laughter is an Important Part of Good Health Have you ever wondered why laughter is the best form of medicine? Research has found evidence that laughter can boost the body’s immune system and even lead to an improvement in the brain network and functioning. There are many more reasons. Laughter also improves mood, decreases pain, and fights against the damaging effects of stress (Smith et. al., n.d).
Also Read: 10 Mood Boosters That Are Absolutely Free
Benefits of Comedy Therapy
Further, it connects people together, improves social relationships and releases anger. There are physical, psychological and social benefits of laughter and humour. Knowing these, we can see how comedy therapy can be beneficial for many individuals.
- Laughter triggers the release of Endorphins: When you experience stress or you are in pain, the body experiences the release of Endorphins. In short, endorphins are hormones that help alleviate pain and stress for a short period of time. They are only released at times when you feel stressed.
- Laughter boosts the immune system: People who laugh have a spiked increase in T cells and natural killer cells (NK cells). These strong members of the immune system help to fight against the invaders and other things causing stress and tension and keep you healthy.
Also Read: Behind the Laughter: Robin Williams
- Laughter is helpful and a protector of the heart: When you laugh, your facial muscles contract, your lungs work to release and contract air as well and the muscles of the body are at work. Similarly, it also increases blood flow in your heart. Having a laugh is nothing short of good aerobic exercise. When you’re experiencing stress or feel unhappy, the body releases hormones that cause constriction of the vessels of the blood in the body. These hormones are adrenaline and noradrenaline. Laughter induced during comedy therapy can decrease the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, this decreases stress and improves the structure of the blood vessels.
- Laughter improves lifespan: Studies have shown that people who laugh and have a good sense of humour live longer and are more healthy. This is particularly true in the context of patients with cancer.
- Laughter decreases anger and its side effects: Anger is a strong negative emotion. Laughter is a great conflict resolution. It diffuses anger. It releases the resentment you’ve held on to for a long time and helps you let go of the bitterness.
- Laughter helps with perspective: When you’re anxious and stressed, you see most situations in a negative light. Laughter helps with this. It provides a shift in perspective and diffuses anger. It allows you to look at a situation in a less negative light and you feel less threatened. This helps to regulate your fight and flight response of the parasympathetic nervous system and provides your body relief. This leads to better mental health and less stress and anxiety.
Other Benefits of Comedy Therapy
- Improves resilience.
- Provides relief from anxiety.
- Makes life less sad and adds joy to life.
- Defuses conflicts
- Improves relationships
- Increases bonding and teamwork in groups
- Increases the production of serotonin which relieves us from stress.
- Low cortisol levels (which are high during stressful conditions).
- Improves interpersonal relationships.
- Helps those struggling with isolation and loneliness.
As we continue to explore holistic approaches to mental wellness, integrating comedy therapy into traditional therapeutic models offers a refreshing perspective on the power of laughter. Laughter truly is a universal language that has the potential to uplift, connect, and heal, making it a valuable tool in the pursuit of overall mental and emotional well-being.
Read More Articles from psychologs