Laughter is Good Medicine, Really?
By DR. ORALIA GARCIA DOMINIC, ph.d., M.A., M.S.
Growing up I heard a famous saying, “Into Every Life a Little Rain Must Fall!” I often wondered how people survive hard times. Experts say that during hard times, some people engage in risky behaviors while others isolate themselves from the world around them. Many seek professional help to learn effective ways for coping with life and its stressors. It is well documented that better health outcomes are achieved when a person has a social support in place.
Everyone person is unique and uses different strategies to cope with life’s stressors. A common coping strategy is laughter. Yes, experts agree that a person can indeed “laugh his/her way to better health!”
Fortunately for us, Latinos love to laugh and make others laugh, too! There are a lot of Latino comedians! El Chespirito, who became a television staple in countless Latin American homes as “El Chavo del Ocho.” George Lopez, Cantinflas, Gabriel Iglesias and Angélica Vale. The list goes on and on.
Many faith leaders repeatedly remind us that “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength!” Do scientists agree?
The answer is yes. There is something magical yet scientific about laughter. Scientific research studies show that the more you laugh, the better you’ll feel and the healthier you’ll be.
Your brain talks to your body
According to experts, the brain “produces chemicals that affect everything from how fast your heart beats to how well you fight off disease. The simple act of laughing tells your brain to produce these chemicals.” Experts also say that humor can be used to reduce stress, address fears and to create effective health care teams. Maybe this is why Mark Twain says, “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”
You don’t need a medical license or a prescription to do it! So laugh on and heal.
Go ahead and Laugh
You might say laughter is a solution that won’t last long and a total waste of time. But, laughter can help you forget about your troubles; laughter can help your body heal. Maybe this is why Charlie Chaplin stated, “A day without laughter is a day wasted!” ◆