Make Time to Laugh

Written by: Nick Ortner

Laugh just becauseWhen was the last time you had a really good belly laugh? The kind that feels so all-consuming, it starts to “hurt”?

I was playing with my niece and nephews the other day and I noticed how easily they fall into deep belly laughter. It immediately changes your mood and leaves you feeling warm. But as we get older and take on more responsibility—when we could use a good laugh most— we tend to laugh less often.

When it comes to health and wellness, the benefits of laughter are pretty impressive! It lowers stress, decreases blood pressure, improves memory recall, lowers anxiety, promotes bonding in relationships, decreases inflammation in the body, boosts your body’s immune response, and may even speed up your metabolism (and more!).

But we don’t really need research to know that laughter is good for us. When we laugh, we can feel how good it is for us.

Study after study shows that we need laughter – especially those deep belly laughs my niece and nephews are so good at – to be our healthiest, best selves.

Science and Laughter

One study published in Women’s Health Magazine and conducted at John Hopkins Medical School looked at whether humor can sharpen your thinking. The professor, a psychologist, and Ph.D. himself divided the 98 students in his graduate biostatistics class (I get sleepy just thinking about that class!) into two groups for an exam. Using the identical 57-item exam, he wrote humorous exam instructions for one group and made sure the other group’s exam instructions were not funny. The group that took the test with humorous instructions scored significantly higher on the exam.

Another study at Linda Loma University found that laughter raised levels of disease-fighting immunoglobulins by 14 percent. A separate study at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore monitored subjects’ blood flow as they watched a funny movie, and found that laughter increases blood circulation as much as getting on the treadmill (although for a shorter period of time, so it’s not a reason to ditch exercise 🙂 ). Several studies have also found that laughter increases resistance to physical pain.

But again, we don’t need research to know that laughter is good for us. What we DO need is more laughter!

It’s Time to Laugh

Here are 2 YouTube videos and a video of my nephew giggling that I know will make you laugh:

A little animal humor… (watch this a couple of times, because the moment Cooper goes for the ice cream is hysterical – and just watching Cooper wait for the ice cream patiently is great)

Some kid humor… (when monsters attack…)

How do you feel now?

If you’ve had a good laugh, notice how your laughter temporarily “washed away” your stress, anxiety, and other negative energy.

Notice how much more relaxed your body feels after laughing.

(I’m sure you’ve noticed this before, but the longer you dwell on positive experiences, the more they benefit you. Dwelling on how good it feels to laugh also helps to “wire” your brain to laugh more, a process I talked about in a recent blog post.)

Internal Reaction to Laughter

When we laugh, endorphins – those “feel good” chemicals— run through our bodies. This creates an immediate feeling of well-being that defeats stress, fear, and anxiety.

The funny thing about laughter – haha! – is that, as we get older, we often feel we don’t have time for it. Some of those beliefs may stem from childhood. Were you ever told as a child to stop laughing? Maybe you were supposed to clean up or do something “more important”? As a culture, we sometimes see laughter as a waste of time, something that’s taking us away from doing work, cleaning the house, etc.

Over time, though, all of the pressure we put on ourselves to increase productivity increases our stress. That stress slows us down, interferes with our relationships, negatively impacts health, and makes us more prone to distraction, less able to focus, and more.

Since the body is so good at flooding our systems with those “feel good” chemicals (which also make us more creative and more productive) when we laugh, the only thing we need to focus on is allowing ourselves to laugh more.

Positive Tapping on Laughter:

Eyebrow: Laughing feels so good!
Side of Eye: I can laugh more and get even more done
Under Eye: It’s so good for my body
Under Nose: It’s so good for my brain
Under Mouth: It’s good for every cell in my body
Collarbone: It’s good for me to let myself laugh more
Under Arm: and be healthier and happier because of it
Top of Head: I don’t have to be so serious

Eyebrow: The more I laugh, the better I feel
Side of Eye: The more I laugh, the more I accomplish
Under Eye: Laughing makes me healthier and happier
Under Nose: And it feels so good!
Under Mouth: I can take short humor breaks every day
Collarbone: and find something that will make me laugh
Under Arm: and feel happier and healthier right away
Top of Head: The more I laugh, the better I feel inside and out

As you go through your day, try making a habit of taking short “humor breaks.” If you feel guilty making time to laugh or feel like you’re wasting time, do more rounds of tapping, and then watch one funny video on YouTube, or listen to or read something short that makes you laugh. Commit to taking at least one humor break per day for a week, and see how it changes your mood, productivity, health, relationships, and more.

Until then, keep tapping!

Nick Ortner

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19 Comments on this post

  1. TRY NOT TO LAUGH says:

    You cant stop laughing this video is too funny its time for ROFL

  2. Mary says:

    I heard on the radio that there was a study done that children laugh an average of 400 times a day. Adults, an average of 7 times a day. Unfortunately, they didn’t quote the source. But it sounds about right to me.

  3. Name Tarah Blackshear says:

    Just heard about this method of healing today,sounds interesting enough to give it a try….We’ll see what happens…

  4. sheryll says:

    Brilliant.advice I love to laugh it. Makes us feel so mu h happier.and better .cheers nick bless you x

  5. Kapil says:

    Thanks a lot for all your articles and tapping scripts.It suppot me amazingly.Lots of love.

  6. Fabienne says:

    super.thank you nick . a very good exercice for every day 🙂

  7. Anita says:

    Just hit the spot…. It was so good 🙂 thank you Nick !

  8. Chana says:

    This laughter really knocked the wind out of me. I feel happy and relieved at the same time,

  9. connie says:

    I was feeling down, but this made my day!!!!!

  10. ANSELL WHITE says:

    I am so happy to know about EFT. I have been acquainted with this healing practice for well over three years. It works! Every day I practice using it on myself and sharing my experiences with my friends. Bravo for EFT!

  11. Kamla says:

    I am about BESIDE MYSELF!!
    I couldn’t stop laughing from your Nephews video, the little girl and right to the end.
    Thank you so much for giving me some WONDERFUL healing feelings.
    You-Nick and Jess and family have made my day.

  12. Wanda says:

    Just what I needed today. Laughter is a gift from our Creator (He knew we would need it!) Thank you for making me laugh today!!

  13. Carole says:

    It looked good but I couldn’t hear it! and your adds were a bit near the knuckle.

  14. Karen Field says:

    Those videos were so funny!! I had tears pouring from my eyes feeling pure joy! Thanks!!!

  15. Tickling is not a good idea says:

    Hi Nick,
    First, thank you so much for the important info about laughing. I had a good one with the people laughing video. There is alot of information out now about the negative effects of tickling on children. To name a few, difficulty relaxing, powerlessness, and fear. A fabulous website that supports parents and teaches a life altering parenting model called Parenting by Connection, based on brain research, is You can then type in tickling in the search window. I’m currently taking a year long Instructor Certification program to teach Parenting by connection, and be a parent coach. I’m committed to parents being supported, and children being confident, joyful, and expressed. Thank you for the wonderful laughing info. So true! Much love

  16. Pat Boyer says:

    Cute Nephew. Loved the last video. I laughed a lot.

  17. Molly Globus says:

    The post got the message thru. Importance of laughter and doing tapping after laughter seems like a breakthrough technique. Thanks for sharing

  18. Debbie says:

    Perfect! I laughed so hard I was crying. Thank you so much. Anytime I wake up on the wrong side of the bed I will remember to watch a laughing video. LOL

  19. Mary Adshead says:

    Brilliant! Ho ho ho hee hee! Thank you very much. Shared with my Mum, good to see her cheerful face. Am encouraged to continue/ expand our humour beaks as she recovers from her hip op.

    As Mark Twain said there is nothing that withstand the assault of laughter

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Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
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