The on-going stress associated with the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted various aspects of emotional and mental health around the world. Hence, depression is on the rise during the pandemic. Besides specific pharmacological interventions, which if prolonged will have adverse health results. Of course, non-pharmacological interventions are needed to reduce the emotional burden associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
We do need to go back to laugh again in life and sense its effect on our body. Laughter therapy is really, non-pharmacological approach to reducing stress and anxiety. Therapeutic laughter is a non-invasive and easy-to-implement intervention that can be used during this pandemic as a useful complementary therapy to reduce the mental health burden. What is clear in various studies that laughter therapy can physiologically reduce pro-stress factors and increase mood-elevating anti-stress factors to reduce anxiety and depression?
So, when I look to the topics of laughter that circulate during coronavirus pandemic, it enables us to understand the imbalances caused by this small being in ourselves, the extent of anxiety, fear and obsessions that it has transmitted in us, which has revealed the weakness of humans and its inability to understand the course of things clearly and its failure to give meaning to what the world is experiencing today!
When we laugh, we generate endorphins, decreasing levels of the stress hormones. Could you imaging with me that pleasant sensation after having a chocolate ice cream. How will be this with laugh as they’re fat free? Interestingly when we laugh unconditionally for at least 10 minutes, we generate enough endorphins to benefit our health. The giggles and laughter can be simulated, but the brain doesn’t really differentiate between fake or real, or even spontaneous laughter.
A such this long time during the pandemic has created a fertile field for the production of what unites groups of society and reassures individuals as well, that they are not alone in the crisis and what they think about is not related to them alone, but the common denominator among the general people in the time of such crisis is laughter.
Nevertheless, with such pandemic laughter therapy is gaining popularity, in workplaces and hospitals. Currently laughter therapy complements traditional cancer treatment and psychotherapy in some countries. Therefore I encourage people always around me to laugh or even getting in the act, because simply everyone can laugh.
Therefore, it is ideal if we could consider laughter or humour therapy, where the power of smiles and laughter aid healing. It appears that laughter changes brain chemistry and may boost the immune system. So, while staying within confines home or even work, people can boost their immunity by doing laughter yoga for 15 to 30 minutes. Truly, the laughter exercise is not very technical, but easy to perform. In the current scenario, everyone should work to strengthen his immune system and I believe laughter is a wonderful treatment.
Perhaps when our expectations clash with unpleasant reality and when it seems to us that we have done a mistake, we absolutely need humour and laughter to minimise the impact of failure. Laughing and sense of humor, something none of us should lose especially now, as the world has been turned upside down with such pandemic and other events.
At the end, go ahead and try it out. Turn the corners of your mouth into a smile and then laugh. Once you get a chuckle, assess how you feel. Are your muscles less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or refreshed? This is the natural wonder of laughter at our life.
(The author is a physician, medical innovator and a witter)