The Elms Blog

A Good Chuckle May Soothe Stress and Relieve Tension

Mar 11, 2019

“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.”

– William Thackeray

Long known to have stress relieving benefits, research over the last 30 years has shown that serious positive benefits may be achieved when people engage in “Laughter Therapy” over extended periods of time.

Chuckles and giggles are important first steps toward the path of the true “belly laugh,” which then triggers a whole host of benefits:

  • Relieving physical tension by relaxing muscles and causing deep breathing
  • Elevating your mood by lowering stress and anxiety levels
  • Boosting the immune system with the activation of protective cells
  • Increasing pain tolerance by releasing endorphins
  • Protecting your heart by reducing inflammation, lowering bad and raising good cholesterol, and lowering systolic blood pressure

Contagious Laughter

You have undoubtedly joined in the laughter of others even when you don’t know what they are laughing about. This is because your brain knows that laughing feels good and this can help in promoting an overall positive sense of well being.

Particularly Suitable for Seniors

Research has shown that the many common ailments that older adults grapple with may improve by working laughter therapy into their lives because it is easy, safe and has little or no side effects.

The biggest benefits come from hilarious, spontaneous laughter. Even for people who are generally serious, the benefits of laughing more are worth the effort.

Because humor is subjective, it’s important to find things that you think are funny:

  • Check out photos or videos of funny pets or kids on social media
  • A good joke book provides laughs in private or with friends
  • Humorous essays or short stories can produce laughter in short order
  • Switch from dramatic movies and tv shows to comedies or find a show featuring your favorite stand-up comic

Structured Laughter Interventions

Because of the big upside with little or no side effects, the implementation of Laughter Therapy (also called Humor Therapy) has become a popular way to add a little sunshine to your day.

With the goal of achieving spontaneous laughter, this therapy generally starts out with simulated laughter, including physically replicating laughter through voice and facial expressions and can also include tickling, clowning around, dancing, or hugging.

Types of Laughter Therapy may also include Laughter Yoga or other therapist-led group sessions.

Please join us for: Laughworks Showcase!

We appreciate the positive power of laughter and are proud to host Laughworks: The Health Benefits of Laughter. This showcase will be led by improvisation expert Kristin Hartnett at The Elms on Saturday, March 16th.

Using theater games and exercises, participants will learn to work with others, live in the present moment, and lead more authentic and healthy lives.

This event is open to the public so stop by from 2 to 3 and shake off the winter blues with some laughs!

Feel free to take a guided tour while you are here if you’ve been wondering if senior living at The Elms might be right for you or a loved one.

Providing Safe, Comfortable, and Empowered Lifestyles

Enjoy the charm of victorian architecture, spacious and relaxing community rooms and outdoor spaces, a vibrant and historic downtown and local community, and award-winning care that is always close at hand.