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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

The Remarkable Medicinal Qualities of Laughter

By William Laferriere


A few years back my girlfriend was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the tender age of 34. I went into overdrive and performed my due diligence as a Caregiver. I purchased a TV (we hadn’t owned one for years). Now you may be asking yourself - What?


All of my research indicated that laughter could play a significant role in the healing process, and that improved health and wellness in general, could be considerably enhanced by laughter. Ergo, the TV.



Understandably, it’s quite difficult to find positivity and levity in a breast cancer diagnosis, but I felt then, and still strongly believe, that comedic relief and positivity should play an indispensable role in one’s treatment. In this blog we publish links and argue in support for the positive medicinal qualities of laughter.


A recent study by the Mayo Clinic found the following: “Whether you're guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that's no joke.” A good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.


Short-term benefits include organ stimulation, endorphin release, cools down the stress response and actually can decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. Long-term effects include an improvement to your immune system (positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more- serious illnesses), relieve pain and increase personal satisfaction.


Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.


By seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and possibly add years to your life.


Laughter is the Best Medicine - And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun. The link between laughter and mental health. Laughter stops distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing. Laughter helps you relax and recharge.


Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure.


7 Health Benefits Of Laughing Therapy Whether you believe in the healing power of humor against illnesses or not, practicing laughing more often will leave you uplifted and refreshed; plus, in the light of laughter everything always looks a lot better!


"Laughter", Provine believes, "is part of a larger picture. Laughter is social, so any health benefits might really come from being close with friends and family, and not the laughter itself".


In fact, laughter can actually alter dopamine and serotonin activity in your brain, offering a noninvasive and non-pharmacological option for dealing with stress and depression. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, make time to practice laughter meditation and harness the power of its healing benefits. Emotional Release


Studies have found that laughter can have healing properties; and it’s contagious. Here are six reasons why you should start laughing today. Laughter is Contagious. The discovery of mirror neurons—what causes you to smile when someone smiles at you—gives credence to the belief that laughter is contagious.



In our research, above is a short video you can follow along with and learn to make yourself laugh instantly! Give it a try and let us know if you were able to achieve a deep belly laugh in the comments!


Keep smiling, laughing, and celebrating life!


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Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 

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Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 

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