Holiday Cheer: The Healing Benefits of Smiling and Laughing

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Insights, Motivational, News, Next Steps

The healing benefits of smiling and laughing can boost our emotions to bring out the best during the holidays, a stressful time for many.

How Smiles and Laughter Can Make Your Holidays Merry and Bright

Is smiling and laughing part of your family’s holiday experience? Think about last year and the years before. What did you do to create more joy and less stress when emotions run high? Interesting questions? I thought so when writing this blog. They made me stop and reflect, making me smile and laugh!

Marshall Connects blog, Holiday Cheer: The Healing Benefits of Smiling and Laughing

The Power Of Smiling And Laughing

Like many, I believe laughter is the best medicine to boost the holiday season. Adding laughter and humour into your day helps manage your emotional health and interactions with others. I even wrote a blog about how challenging and stressful life can be during the holiday season, read it here

Without question, smiling and laughing can positively impact our negative emotions. As we become more familiar with our feelings, we are empowered to manage our emotions effectively. 

Oscar Wilde once said, “I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” 

Keep The Holidays Simple

There is much to be said about keeping things simple to enjoy the holiday season. Managing emotions during the holidays can be challenging at the best of times. It’s the time of year when some may feel overwhelmed, sad, depressed or anxious. Without question,  the season's busyness, including navigating holiday events, can be stressful for various reasons.

Often, we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others. Our holiday rituals and festivities frequently include excessive commitments that can pressure our time, resources, and finances, robbing us of the season’s joy. Of course, this can negatively impact our well-being if we allow it to.

The Amazing Benefits Of Smiling And Laughing

We must prepare ourselves with tactics to improve our well-being. Smiling and laughing offer a wide range of physical, emotional, and social benefits to our well-being. Here are some examples of their positive impact:

  1. Stress Reduction: Smiling and laughter trigger endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. This can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  2. Pain Relief: Endorphins released during laughter act as natural painkillers, potentially reducing discomfort and increasing pain tolerance.
  3. Mood Enhancement: Smiling and laughter are associated with an improved mood and a more positive outlook on life.
  4. Strengthened Immune System: Laughter can boost the immune system by increasing the production of immune cells and antibodies, making your body better equipped to fight illnesses.
  5. Social Connection: Smiling and laughter are universal signals of friendliness and approachability, fostering social bonds and improving relationships.
  6. Increased Oxygen Intake: Deep laughter can increase oxygen levels in the body, promoting overall well-being and increased energy.
  7. Relaxation of Muscles: Laughing and smiling engage various muscles in the face and body, and laughter can lead to muscle relaxation after the laughter subsides.
  8. Improved Heart Health: Laughter may increase blood flow and improve the function of blood vessels, which can have cardiovascular benefits.
  9. Enhanced Creativity: A joyful, relaxed state of mind from laughter can boost creativity and problem-solving abilities.
  10. Painful Stress Reduction: Laughter can temporarily relieve pain by producing natural painkillers called endorphins.
  11. Cognitive Benefits: Regular laughter and smiles improve cognitive function and memory.
  12. Better Coping Skills: People who incorporate humour into their lives tend to cope with stress and adversity more effectively.
  13. Improved Resilience: Smiling and laughing can help individuals bounce back from challenging situations and maintain a positive outlook.
  14. Longer Life: Some studies suggest that people who laugh and smile often live longer and enjoy better overall health.
Incorporating more laughter and smiles into your life can contribute to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling existence. It's a simple and enjoyable way to improve well-being and quality of life. During the holiday season, consider the value of smiling and laughing. Practise some strategies to ensure you keep your emotions in check.

Don’t forget to focus on smiling and laughing the next time you feel down to lift your spirits positively impacting your emotions. Be sure to check out many more motivational blogs here.

This article was originally published on December 23, 2017, and has been updated (November 2023).

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