November 6, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

happy-laughing-senior-woman

Have you ever felt yourself getting ready to bubble over with unrestrained laughter at the most inopportune moment – in a packed elevator, a quiet waiting room, or a religious service? Even though there are, obviously, times when we must suppress the silliness, author Jane Heller says that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”

The health advantages of laughter are extraordinary, including:

  • Releasing endorphins that reduce tension
  • Strengthening brain connectivity
  • Delivering a social boost
  • Relieving pain
  • Improving the immune system
  • Boosting mood
  • Shielding one’s heart from heart disease
  • Stimulating blood circulation and muscle relaxation, both of which minimize stress
  • And many more

Although there is absolutely nothing funny in regards to being given a difficult diagnosis for someone you care about, there are ways to promote an underlying sense of positivity that can trigger additional possibilities for laughter:

  • Be intentional about placing bits of humor throughout your home/office, which can include a popular comic strip, meme, funny photographs, etc.
  • Check into a laughter yoga class – yes, there honestly is such a thing!
  • Alter your reading material and TV viewing to add more lightheartedness. Include joke books – or explore the internet for new jokes to be included in your arsenal.
  • Enjoy time with loved ones and close friends who lift your spirits. Remember past experiences together that make you laugh, and create new ones!
  • Don’t forget to laugh at yourself, changing your internal dialogue from reprimands for errors to the comfort in acknowledging we’re all human.

Surprisingly, even if you do not feel like laughing, benefits can be achieved through faking or forcing laughter, according to certified health coach Nancy Kalish.

At Home Independent Living’s care team helps bring happiness and laughter to seniors and respite for their families every day. Our friendly senior companions spend quality time with older adults, engaging in conversations, games, puzzles, exercise, fun outings, and of course, plenty of laughter. And with our full selection of home care services, which include meal prep, light housekeeping, and looking after personal care needs, family caregivers and the older adults they love are able to spend more high quality time simply enjoying each other’s company. Let us help brighten up your world! Contact our independent home care experts at (315) 579-HOME (4663) any time for additional information and to schedule an in-home consultation.