Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine. Just ask Kyle Edgell, a certified humor professional through the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.
“People who use humor and people who laugh are going to help themselves physiologically and emotionally. Laughing exercises inner organs to help with breathing,” Kyle said.
Kyle recently spoke to residents and guests of The Summit about the importance of humor, friendships and laughter.
Laughing reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts memory, Kyle said. “The challenge is how to get laughter?”
She suggests laughing with others in community, decreasing loneliness and depression. In fact, studies show people are 30 times more likely to laugh when with others.
Laughter increases and gives a “D.O.S.E” of “happy chemicals:” Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins.
Here are some tips for adding laughter to your life:
- Don’t isolate. Be curious and be with others.
- Form a humor club. Once you have a club, people will get more and more creative about how to make people laugh.
- Find a humor buddy to look for ways to keep things light-hearted.
- Go for a walk and talk. Pick a topic, like the first job you had, and infuse the stories with humor.
- Avoid things you don’t like hearing about.
- Combine work and play.
- Reframe negative feelings through imagination.
- Dance, engage in the arts or listen to music with someone.
- Clap or raise your hands above your head.
- Find a laughter yoga class.
- Keep it appropriate. Humor needs to be “with” others and not “at” others.
“Humor is just like yoga. Be persistent in being with each other and investigating how people laugh,” Kyle said. “Humor is infectious, and laughter is contagious.”
And, it’s likely to make you feel better, and that’s no laughing matter. Pun intended.