Do you find yourself laughing every day? And by ‘laughing’ I’m not referring to the occasional chuckle or half-hearted smile. I’m talking about laughing to the point where your cheeks hurt. The kind of laughter where you feel your abs got the workout of your life the next day.
If you haven’t enjoyed that level of laughter on a daily basis, you are not alone.
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t feel better from laughing. But I sure have met a lot of people in my life who rarely laugh.
Could it be that painful experiences from our past, such as the way we were raised and educated, influence how often we laugh as adults? And what exactly are the healing and uplifting benefits of laughter, especially for us who are 60 and over?
In this article and the accompanying video, I will answer these questions and more as we explore “10 Life-Altering Benefits for Laughing More After 60.”
This is the second article of a new five-part series for Sixty and Me readers titled, “The Healing Power of Laughter.” Find the first article here.
Trauma can come from things, including physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, loss of a loved one, and other life-altering events.
For those of us over 60, reflecting back on the experiences we’ve had throughout our lives can run the gamut of emotional highs and lows. The effects of trauma can be long-lasting and can lead to negative physical and mental health outcomes.
Of all the ways to heal trauma, laughter is a guaranteed and highly effective tool that can help us heal from our past traumas and improve our overall well-being after 60.
Laughter is a vital tool for healing trauma because it activates the body’s natural relaxation response, which reduces stress and tension in the body.
Laughter also releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good brain chemicals. Endorphins help to reduce pain, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being.
In addition to its physiological benefits, laughter also has psychological benefits.
Laughter helps to shift our perspective on our problems, providing a more lighthearted approach to life’s challenges. When we’re able to laugh at our problems, we’re better able to cope with stress and move forward with confidence.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Research studies from the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and the Journal of Aging Research, among many others, have shown that laughter can have various health benefits for all of us, including, but not limited to:
Clearly, laughter is one of our most natural and enjoyable forms of human expression, not to mention a reliable tool for healing trauma. Let’s now look a bit closer at just how life-altering laughter is.
Laughter has been shown to reduce stress hormones in the body, which can benefit women over 60 who may be dealing with age-related stressors such as health issues or financial concerns.
Laughter has been shown to boost the immune system, which can help women over 60 stay healthy and prevent illnesses.
Laughter can improve mood and help alleviate symptoms of depression, which may be more prevalent in women over 60.
Laughter can help build your social connections and improve relationships. Both of which are important for women over 60 who may be experiencing feelings of isolation.
Laughter has been shown to release endorphins, which can help relieve pain and improve overall well-being.
Laughter can stimulate the brain and increase creativity, which can benefit women over 60 who might be looking to start new hobbies or pursue new interests.
Laughter has been shown to improve sleep quality, an essential element for those who may experience sleep disturbances after 60.
Laughter can increase your energy levels and help combat feelings of fatigue.
Laughter improves memory and cognitive function. This is important for anyone experiencing age-related memory decline.
Laughter has numerous benefits for your well-being, including reduced stress, improved mood, and enhancing social connections.
Laughter is more than just something you do when you are having fun. It is a powerful and effective tool for improving physical, emotional, and mental health.
Whatever you are facing in life after 60, remember, it’s never too late to start laughing.
Have you ever thought to use laughter as a tool to improve your life? Do you find yourself laughing often – or not so much? What things/situations make you laugh easily?