As April approaches, most associate the beginning of the month with the ever infamous holiday April Fool’s Day. Certainly any one during any stage of their life can get a kick or two out of the practical jokes that go along with this day.
And that is one of the greatest parts of laughter, it’s timeless and can connect individuals of all ages. No one can teach us how to laugh, we pick it up as infants!
As they say, laughter is truly the best medicine, but for seniors—this old saying couldn’t be more proven both from a mental and physical perspective. Here are a few reasons why it is important to keep you and your loved one’s spirits high and full of laughter.
Research shows that when you have a decent amount of laughter in your life, the benefits can be equivalent to that of mild exercise or doing a light workout.
According to WebMD we actually change physiologically when we laugh. Laughter stretches our muscles; not just in the face, but also in the rest of our body. Our pulse and blood pressure also increases, which causes us to start breathing more rapidly. Stretched muscles, increased pulse and blood pressure, and rapid breathing all happen when we perform mild workouts.
Which means laughter is an excellent way for senior’s to exercise their heart. If your elderly loved one doesn’t have time or energy to do a formal work out, keep them laughing!
Laughter is a great tool for distraction—when we laugh we forget about stress and pain.
Cancercenter.com believes in laughter as a therapeutic solution or a coping mechanism. Humor can help bring us through even the toughest of days, which is why even on days when our loved ones are down in the dumps, keeping their spirits high with the gift of laughter can help reduce their stress levels.
Improved Immune System
It’s well known that prolonged stress can also result in a weakened immune system. Because of this it becomes vitally important to keep our immune system in tip top shape as we age.
A variety of studies confirm that laughter can actually improve the overall health of our immune systems. Laughterremedy.com revealed that cells that help protect us against colds and flu are strengthened by laughter. Laughter also releases positive body chemicals that not only boost our immune system, but also help us learn to cope more effectively with stress and change.
An added benefit of laughter is that it creates a positive memory with our love ones. One of the greatest things about memories, is they can always be revisited, and they get us laughing again! Thus, allowing us to enjoy all of the incredible benefits of laughing.
It’s not unusual for worries to get exaggerated when health changes or declines. One of the best gifts of laughter is that it can give us perspective. When we laugh, we tend to take a step back and examine our life. It helps us to realize the precious gifts we have and provides hope in sharing memories and laughing with people we love despite the obstacles we face.
Some of the simplest things can bring a smile to our face and heart. Keep a light-hearted approach to caring for your loved one. Laugh often to stay healthy and strong.