It has been said that laughter is the best medicine, but is that really true? If so, why is it true? What is it about laughter that makes it so valuable in helping people heal and in keeping healthy people from getting sick? There are many different opinions about why laughter is so important, but many believe it’s because laughter is tied to happiness, and being happy can actually help the body stay healthy. But it’s not always easy to be happy, or define what it really means. When you’re thinking about laughter as medicine, here are some things to consider.
Can happiness be defined?
The definition of happiness isn’t easy, because being happy means different things to different people. Additionally, what makes someone happy may be nothing like what makes another person happy, and hospitality medicine must reflect on that in order to provide the highest level of value to everyone needing services. Some people believe that happiness means being optimistic, or having a sense of well-being. That’s not the case for other people, who might need something different. Either way, though, people understand that happiness is a good thing, and that it’s something they want. Having control over happiness is also important, but that’s not the same as having control over circumstances. Happiness is often a choice, in spite of problems in life.
Should you really try to be happy?
There’s a connection between physical and mental well-being, according to a lot of studies. If you feel happy, you’ll be physically healthier, overall. Cardiovascular disease, especially, can be affected by happiness. That doesn’t mean someone who’s happy could never experience a heart problem, but that they have a statistically lower chance of experiencing that kind of issue. That’s worth considering, and could very well be worth trying to find the happiness you’re looking for. Even though there aren’t any guarantees, and being happy won’t prevent you from getting sick, happy people tend to take better care of themselves. That care can definitely play a role in overall physical health and quality of life.
Where do you get your happiness from?
There are many places to get your happiness, and some of it will come down to the kinds of things that actually matter the most to you. Part of your happiness will come from your genetics. Some people are just “wired” to be happy, while others may have a personality that doesn’t naturally lend itself to happiness as easily. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be happy, because genetics are not the only part of the equation. Your environment also matters. People with low moods as their baseline genetic makeup can find a lot of joy in hobbies, their job, or other areas of life that please them. That way they get more of their happiness from their environment, and less from their genetics, but it all balances out.
Do money and time matter?
Money doesn’t buy happiness. Or does it? Studies show that it can buy peace of mind and well-being, at least up to a point. What money does buy are the things that protect people, keep them safe, and help them find more joy. There are items and experiences that can only be had if you have the money for them. For example, it can buy house calls to help you stay in better health. Additionally, there are studies that have indicated that people who have the money for meaningful and enjoyable experiences may be happier. They generally enjoy their lives more than people who buy things, because the memories of those experiences linger and can be enjoyed for a very long time. The newness of items they have purchased wears off, and doesn’t bring as much happiness over the course of their lives.
How important is your life span?
The things you do in your life may be less important than your age. While living longer isn’t always a good thing, depending on your overall level of health and other factors, people who are middle-aged and older tend to be happier than younger people. There are some thoughts on why that might be the case, with one of the reasons being that older people are better able to control their emotions. Because they can do that, they can reduce their levels of stress and anxiety. That allows them to feel happier and laugh more. That laughter helps them feel better, and the more they laugh the more they may be able to heal the problems they have.
Why does living in the moment matter so much?
Among the ways to have more happiness and more laughter is to live in the moment. You can do that by staying focused on the things you’re doing, as opposed to the things that happened in the past or will happen in the future. The more you think about past or future issues, the more you might start to worry. Fortunately, living in the moment can reduce that level of stress, which makes things easier. You’ll laugh more, be happier with your life, and keep your focus on the things that are happening to you and around you, right then. It’s a great way to get a lot of joy and laughter from your life.