In my home, we love to tell jokes.  I should probably clarify that my children love to tell jokes and I am subjected to hours of knock-knocks and some really dry riddles.  Whether they’re actually funny or not, I love the fact that laughter echoes in my home.

Do you remember the last time your sides hurt from laughing?  Or the last time that tears ran down your face and you couldn’t catch your breath because you were giggling hysterically?  Why is it that children do this almost daily and adults hardly seem to do it at all?  When do we lose the ability to laugh?  And most importantly, how do we get it back?

According to studies done at the Mayo clinic, laughter has tremendous health benefits, both physical and mental.  Laughter stimulates your organs by increasing the amount of oxygen you take in.  A few good chuckles gets your heart pumping faster so blood circulates better and oxygen is distributed throughout the body.  Laughter stimulates muscle relaxation which in turn reduces tension and stress.  It also prompts the release of endorphins which can aid in pain management. Mood elevation almost always occurs with laughter, and because humor is usually interactive and shared, laughter improves and promotes connection with others.

If it has been too long since you experienced the positive effects of laughter, check out the following web sites or videos.  Better yet, check them out and share them with someone who could also benefit from a hearty laugh.  I challenge you to get through them with a straight face!

The Best of Baby Laughter

The Best Jokes from Reader’s Digest

A Joke a Day

Laugh Factory


Wanda Jeffcoat, MS

Pre-Licensed Counselor, NCC, CCTP

Posted in Mental Health and tagged , , .