Humor and Laughter For Fibromyalgia
Most people feel better after a good laugh, and it has long been documented that sometimes laughter is the best medicine. This is because moods, emotions, and a person's belief system have a fundamental impact on the body's immune and healing mechanisms. Your body and your health respond positively to positive emotions (joy, laughter, humor love, hope, optimism, caring, and intimacy) and negatively to negative emotions (hate, shame, hopelessness, pessimism, indifference, anxiety, depression and loneliness). That's why you want to maintain as positive a focus in your life as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is by maintaining a good sense of humor. In fact, in a study of 35 patients in a rehabilitation facility, 74% agreed with the statement, "Sometimes laughing works as well as a pain pill."
Why Humor Helps Fibromyalgia
Humor helps soothe the symptoms of fibromyalgia for a number of reasons. It helps you connect with others, and it reduces stress and anxiety by allowing you to view the word from a different perspective. While situations themselves don't cause stress, the meaning you place on them does. Humor adjusts the meaning so that events and situations are not so serious or powerful. It replaces distressing emotions with pleasurable feelings.
When we experience humor we talk more, make more eye contact, touch other more, and feel an increase of energy. Humor decreases stress hormones and increases attentiveness, heart rate, and pulse. In short, humor makes us feel better. Humor also makes us laugh, and laughter has it's own positive effects on your body.
Here is what laughter does for you:
- Reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone released during the stress response
- Increases immune system function
- Increases antibodies that help fight upper respiratory diseases
- Improves lung capacity and oxygen levels in the blood
- Releases endorphins, which act as painkillers and increase your tolerance to pain
- Increases heart rate, pulse rate, and "juggles" the internal organs
- Reduces snoring
- Creates a sense of well-being and freshness
- Helps develop leadership qualities, develop personal relationships, and build self confidence