How is it fair that we wait our whole lives to retire, only to be…
Did you know that not only does laughing feel lovely, but it’s actually great for your health too? Yes that’s right, getting your daily dose of giggles could be just what the doctor ordered!
But all too often laughter can be forgotten, and it’s not usually seen as an important thing to prioritise. We think of it as frivolous, or a pursuit that can’t be forced, it just happens it happens.
However, we’re here to tell you something different – laughter is important! You can also be proactive and give yourself more opportunities to laugh in your day-to-day life. And why wouldn’t you want to? It’s a win-win.
Why we should laugh more
While laughing not only feels good on the outside (not to mention how delightful it is to share a giggle with someone else), it’s actually doing heaps of awesome stuff inside our bodies too.
- When we laugh, our bodies release dopamine (a brain chemical that influences mood and feelings of reward and motivation – it also helps to regulate body movements) and increase our serotonin levels (a chemical messenger that is believed to act as a mood stabiliser). So these naturally-occurring functions have the potential to lift our spirits whenever we need a pick-me-up, as well as keep our daily disposition in check.
- Laughter is powerful, and it has been proven to reduce feelings of stress by decreasing the levels of the stress hormones in our body. While these hormones are just doing their job, to regulate our body’s response to stress – it isn’t healthy to have high levels of them on a regular basis as they can cause all sorts of issues like high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches and pounding of the heart.
- Is there anything laughter can’t do? Nope! It can also strengthen your immunity, and that’s something we could all do with right now! Laughing can increase the production of our human growth hormone (produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain). The human growth hormone helps to maintain our tissues and organs, and when we promote the production of it (through laughter) it helps to boost our immune system.
- Laughing builds relationships with others, and perhaps that’s why shared laughter is so enjoyable. Studies have shown that when you laugh with others, you’re communicating that you have a similar outlook on life – and of course it’s always nice to feel surrounded by people who understand you and have the same values.
How to laugh more in retirement
Right, now that you’re sold on how important it is to laugh, now for the fun part – it’s time to put together some ideas on how to get more laughter in your daily life.
- Watch your favourite funny TV shows, movies and comedians.
- Phone a friend who always makes you laugh (or make a plan to meet up with them on a regular basis).
- Pull out the family photos – check out funny memories you’ve captured over the years.
- Make funny faces with your grandchildren or make up a silly story together. ● Listen to a funny podcast, there’s plenty of them to choose from!
- Have a dance to your favourite songs.
- Make a joke jar for family members to contribute to – you could pull them out at a dinner when everyone is around, or just when you need a giggle.
- Play with a pet (or your grandchildren).
- Try laughing exercises – also known as laughing yoga or laughter therapy. They help you to ‘fake it till you make it’, and even then you’ll still get the benefits of laughter. ● Write a list of the things that make you laugh, and look to them each day for inspiration.
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter,” – E. E. Cummings
If you have any questions or are interested in retirement living in 2023, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch