health-benefits-of-laughterThis week, I found myself using periodic breaks to watch funny YouTube video compilations of vines, pets, or game show fails. This got me wondering about whether watching 15-20 minutes’ worth of YouTube videos was useful, or simply a waste of time (because we all know that you can’t just stop at one video!).

I decided to do some digging and I’ve come to the conclusion that watching funny, or even just aww inspiring YouTube videos may be a great, and free form of Laughter Therapy! It has been known for decades now that laughter has a profound positive effect on our body – both physiologically and mentally. The effect of laughter has been proven to be so beneficial, that it is used as a method of treatment at The Cancer Centers of America. Also, all medical practitioners have been encouraged to incorporate humor into their dealings with patients for the past few decades.

More recently, Laughter Therapy has become a new buzz word in which laughter is used to combat ailments including depression and anxiety. The most known form is Laughter Yoga, which is basically where you go to a class and start laughing, and continue laughing (for who knows how long) and you leave feeling better. I’ve put a video of a session at the bottom. Personally, I think it seems a bit silly to pay to do something that I can do anytime. However, watching the video did kind of get me laughing… it’s certainly contagious!

All this research got me thinking that YouTube may, one day, be considered a tool for Laughter Therapy. I haven’t found any research yet on YouTube being used for such a purpose, but if it makes you laugh enough, then you’ll definitely reap the benefits of a stronger immune system, lowered stress levels, and a boost in your overall mood and zest for life (to say the least).

This, of course, may also be a GREAT way to justify procrastination, but I honestly think laughing at a few silly videos is a much better use of my time than watching a dramatic episode of a show on Netflix. I’ve stopped watching plenty of TV Series because they starting to stress me out –Empire is among the list.

So, if you’re feeling in a funk, try a funny YouTube break. Laughter is a great form of medicine and so long as you don’t fall into an internet hole, it could be beneficial for your health!

 

Wishing you a fun-filled, stress-free week!

 

Nina Limardo

Author of I Am Mediaand Renegades Rising

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