Laughter can be defined as a physical reaction consisting of rhythmical audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. It happens as a reaction to certain external or internal stimuli. Thinking humorous thoughts or watching a funny activity are some of the things that can induce laughter.
Laughter is a physical expression of positive emotions like joy, happiness, and relief. Situations of confusion, embarrassment, and nervousness are other contributing factors of laughter. Here are some of the ways laughter can benefit seniors.
7 Ways Seniors Benefit from Laughter
The more laughter that seniors can bring into their lives, the better. The following are examples of how laughter can improve their lives.
- Laughter lowers blood pressure. Seniors are at a higher risk of having high blood pressure, and laughter helps to balance or lower blood pressure by increasing vascular blood flow. This is because laughter revives blood circulation and increases oxygenation of the blood, hence becoming a powerful tool in fighting heart illnesses.
- Laughter helps seniors induce a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal parts of the body. Through this workout, the parts become more active and operate to their optimum levels. Other parts that experience a workout are back muscles, the legs and the respiratory system.
- Pain is more manageable when a person laughs. Even though laughter may not directly heal a particular pain, it helps in managing the painful experience by distracting the brain from the pain.
- Laughter energizes body organs. This is done by suppressing hormones that bring about stress. The process of laughing reactivates the brain and the lungs.
- Laughter helps seniors cope with life issues. Many seniors find difficulty in accepting the many changes that occur around them (and within them), and they often wish life would remain the way it has always been. Physical limitations, loneliness, and the loss of friends are common examples of situations that can lead a senior to feel depressed. Laughter can help seniors control their reaction to events that they can no longer control.
- Laughter helps in reducing aggression. Some seniors facing a limited ability to move or communicate can become aggressive. Inducing laughter lowers the level of aggression by creating a friendly environment.
- Laughter is a major booster of the immune system. What laughter does is improve the circulation of both blood and oxygen, as mentioned above. By so doing, the intake of oxygen decreases stress by counteracting it with positive emotions. Eventually, immunological responses are given a boost, which helps to keep a senior healthy.
How to Introduce Laughter into a Senior’s Life
Laughter does not come automatically to everyone. Especially for seniors living at home alone, bringing joy and laughter to a senior can be a vital task. Here are some ways that laughter can be brought to a senior:
- Introducing a companion in a senior’s life. This can be done by looking for a compatible partner for the senior.
- Selecting funny movies, television shows or books that will exhilarate the senior
For More Information
Laughter is an important aspect of the human existence. For more information on how to introduce laughter to seniors, please visit: