Physical exertion is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, especially in recovery. In the company of friends and loved ones it can boost self-confidence and increase the release of endorphins. People who laugh together are often able to feel supported, loved, and cared for by others. Find out why laughter is really the best medicine with hidden healing properties.
How to Laugh
It can feel difficult to laugh in the face of adversity. When life throws lemons, not everyone is able to set up a lemonade stand and start juicing lemons to drink. It can be hard to live through addiction and enter recovery not knowing what comes next. Laughter can be truly healing and support the body, mind, and soul in feeling connected to something other than thinking about addiction, the past, or other things which might bring a person’s mood down. The physical effort in itself leaves a person exhausted (in a good way) and promotes complex neuropeptide chemicals in the brain which promote feelings of well being. Just watching 15 minutes of comedy with others can increase a person’s pain threshold by nearly ten percent. Laughing alone is great, laughing along with others is better.
There are bonding agents in laughter which can be felt through an endorphin rush, which explains why laughter plays such an important role in social lives. Very little research has been done into why people laugh or why it matters but people don’t need researchers to tell them why laughter feels good. Pain tolerance increases with laughter and the type of laughter a person experiences can release lots of endorphins which is probably an evolutionary principle which encourages socialization with other humans. Endorphin rushes from a good belly laugh only occur when we really let the self be seen and heard by others who laugh with us.
How to Laugh
There is no set way to know how to laugh but there are ways to encourage laughter in one’s own life.
- Socializing with friends at events or things which increase opportunities for laughter
- Spending time with loved ones in an environment where it is safe to share jokes, laugh and have fun in a sober space
- Learning new skills or trying new things which might be challenging but can bring about laughter as well
- Watching movies or going to shows which are funny and build camaraderie with others
Social activities are a great way to increase the release of endorphins. Pain thresholds in people who laugh together go up more than in individuals who laugh alone. Socially engaged people who try music, dancing or religious practices find euphoric states produce an endorphin release. Give it a try next time there is a funny movie. Invite people over, have a laugh, and spend time together for a positive endorphin release and some good old fashioned bonding time.
Cypress Lakes believes in the power of laughter to heal old wounds. Addiction recovery is not just a difficult journey, it is also a time to learn life skills such as how to laugh, have fun and enjoy life again. Call us if you are ready to find ways of enjoying life again: 877-938-1577