When they say laughter is the best medicine, it's no joke.

You know that feeling after a good belly laugh. You almost feel your whole body relax. Studies from the Mayo Clinic show that while laughter may not cure serious diseases, there are positive benefits of having humor as a part of our lives.

For short term effects, laughter increases our ability to take in oxygen-rich air at higher levels, letting us breathe a lot better and healthier. It also gives our endorphins a boost throughout the day. Laughter also lowers anxiety, decreases blood pressure, and helps relieve tension and stress. The long term effects of laughter include improving our immune system. Laughter actually sends chemicals to our immune systems that can help fight illnesses. On the flip side, negative thoughts can actually impair our immune system.

Laughter also helps us connect with others and gives us personal satisfaction when we are able to use humor to deal with difficult situations. Now, more than ever, we could use a little humor in our lives. The next time we find ourselves feeling down, we need to remember our blessings and the positives in our lives. Like the Monty Python song says, “Always look on the bright side of life”.  Here are four ways to get more laughter into your life.

  • 1

    Spend Time With A Funny Friend

    We all have that one friend that is good for a laugh.  Get in touch and have a good giggle.

  • 2

    Try Something New With Your Partner

    Whether it is a new recipe, a fun dance step, or doing an online yoga class, getting out of your comfort zone can certainly lead to some funny moments.

  • 3

    Watch a Comedy Clip or Funny Movie

    Sometimes it is fun to re-watch a movie that you know will make you laugh, or check out a funny clip on social media.

  • 4

    Shift Your Perspective

    While it is not always easy, try to find humor in every day and don't take yourself so seriously.  Take a bird's eye view of the situation you are in and look at the humorous side of it. As the saying goes, "Enjoy the little things in life, someday they will be the big things."