That certainly seems to be true, but you might be surprised to learn just how much laughter can actually improve your mental health. Learn more about the effect that laughter has on our bodies and minds — and how humor might be able to help you deal with ADHD-related challenges.
How Laughing Affects the Body
What exactly happens to our bodies when we laugh? One of the most important factors in how laughing affects us is that it increases the amount of endorphins released by the brain. These natural chemicals help us to feel good by promoting an overall sense of well-being.
A little chuckle also stimulates circulation and relaxes your muscles. As a result, it can help to relieve tension that you’re holding in your body. The benefits increase with boisterous laughs, which can trigger and then quell your body’s natural stress response. This leads to your heart rate and blood pressure falling as your laughs subside, leaving you feeling relaxed and calm.
Who knew a good giggle could be so good for you?
Boosting Mental Health with Humor
The physical effects of laughter give us a nice and relaxed feeling in our bodies. But our minds experience plenty of perks, too. This is where the mental health benefits of laughter come into play, including:
- Improved mood: Laughter can boost your overall mood and even help to ease depression and anxiety.
- Stress relief: Many people find that laughter helps to significantly lessen the stress they feel and provides a welcome distraction from stressful situations.
- Greater self-esteem: Learning to laugh things off can boost your self-esteem and even make you feel more resilient.
- Increased joy: When you can find the humor in life and share laughs with others, it brings more happiness to your life.
The social benefits of laughter can’t be understated, either. Laughing together can strengthen relationships and help us form social bonds with other people. It can also help to defuse conflict when things are tense. Having a good sense of humor about life makes the people around you feel good, which may make them want to spend more time with you.
Finding the Humor in ADHD
If you have ADHD, it’s likely that you regularly face challenging moments as you go about your day. Some things are always going to be a bit tougher due to this disorder, whether it’s staying organized or trying to be less impulsive.
People who struggle with their ADHD behaviors can seek help through therapy, medication, and other treatment options. But even with a great team of health professionals on your side, there will still be obstacles from time to time.
However, having a good sense of humor about your ADHD can help. It puts things in perspective and allows you to avoid taking yourself too seriously. Sometimes, you have to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make due to your ADHD. Allow yourself to laugh some things off and simply move on with your day rather than carrying shame and guilt about your disorder.
When you’re feeling stressed due to your ADHD or other factors in your life, a good laugh might be just what the doctor ordered.