6 Facts to Remind You Why Laughter is Important

We all know that laughter is an important element in our everyday lives. This applies to children, to adults and even to the elderly. 

Laughter is always a sign of vitality and youthfulness. It improves communication and intensifies ones verbal and emotional receptiveness towards others. It's like a rendezvous with life. This awakens one’s spirits and one’s ability to feel alive. Is that not also desirable in old age?

In celebration of the upcoming World Laughter Day on May 7th, we thought we would share with you seven crucial lessons we have learned over the last 20 years working with geriatric patients.

1. Laughter is a form of communication, not a reaction.

You probably realized this at a young age, but it is worth the reminder. Laughter is more than simply a reaction to a joke. It is our form of opening up to other. A smile transcends generations. It shows people that we like them and that we understand them.

2. The critical stimulus for laughter is another person, not a joke. 

We practice this observation daily in our geriatric visits. Connecting with individuals requires more than simple jokes, it require empathy, respect and patience. After that, all it takes is a smile, a sparkle in your eye and laughter bursts spontaneously.

3. Laughter stimulates the brain and enhances mental functions.

It is proven time and time again that laughter leaves a lasting impact on our overall mental health. We associate important lessons in life with positive memories and positive emotions much more readily than the opposite. The same is true as time goes on. 

4. Research suggests that laughter improves the quality of laugh for people with dementia. 

Arts-based approaches are an effective method to reaching out and alleviating the challenges associated with dementia. Based on the research from Dr Pia Kontos, she proved that elderly residents experienced less agitation and their quality of life improved after twelve weeks of clown visits. 

5. Laughter allows us to see situations in a new light.

Often, there is a lot of stress and anxiety when adjusting to new places. The same can be said in geriatric homes. At the same time, laughter provides the perfect opportunity to change our perspective. While it may not solve our emotional upheavals, laughter can act as an important coping mechanism in overcoming obstacles.  

6. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you

Enough said. Laughter is contagious. 

We have shared with you some of the important lessons we have learned about laughter through our work. If you believe in the power of humour and its positive effect on society, please consider choosing to support our mission to bring joy to those who need it most by donating in one of the many ways available here.

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