Tag Archives: laughter is relaxing


smiley faceWhile my son was in a psychiatric hospital, I wasn’t sure whether I would ever laugh out loud again. I seemed to have lost the ability to even smile. My heart had hardened and it no longer behaved like the heart I had once known. There were times when I wondered whether I would ever return to being the loving person I had once been.

One day a nurse showed a video clip in the ward, hoping that the comedian would be able to transform the ward into a place where everyone would laugh or at least smile. Although that did not occur at once, consumers (patients) began to open up more and the all-pervading fear somewhat dissipated. Humor had disengaged the fear in the air as it changed perspectives both of the past and of the present.

To quote Charlie Chaplin; To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it. Maybe that is why people like the late Robin Williams journeyed through periods of torment. Humor has been used to console ill children for many years, and later, clowns were sent into hospital wards. This was meant for the children’s benefit but I think they must have helped the parents too.

Laughing is relaxing and actually works to alleviate chronic stress. Humor reduces pain. When somebody laughs, it increases their ability to fight viruses and foreign cells. Laughter is contagious and spreads optimism and helps communication which is the best marriage advice for anyone, especially for a person prone to anxiety or depression.