A Laugh and a Smile: How Maintaining a Sense of Humor Promotes Emotional Wellbeing

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Though the claim “laughter is the best medicine” may seem cliché, there is often a great deal of truth behind this statement. For instance, laughter can release endorphins in the body to help suppress pain and also reduce cortisol, the primary stress hormone. In addition to these examples, there are a variety of other ways laughing can help promote your elderly loved one’s health. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder home care Mississauga families trust, would like to share a few of those potential benefits.

Increased Positivity

Studies show laughter is directly linked to a positive outlook and mood stability, often because the sound of laughter primes the brain to expect something good. The ability to maintain a positive outlook provides powerful protection from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Seniors who laugh frequently and are optimistic tend to be more resilient when handling stressful situations such as disease or the loss of a loved one. The positive feelings created by laughter can provide strength and encouragement, making it easier for your loved one to find hope and meaning during difficult times.

More Social Engagement

Social scientists believe laughter is a sophisticated tool that helps bind us together by helping break the ice or diffuse an awkward situation. When we laugh we naturally relax, take ourselves less seriously, and open ourselves up to others. This makes it easier to build relationships with those around us. These personal connections and social interactions are an important factor in combating feelings of isolation and depression common among the elderly.

Reduced Stress

Chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety as well as a host of physical problems. Laughter triggers the brain to release several chemicals that can naturally lower your loved one’s stress hormones and blood pressure. These chemicals also help promote a positive outlook and relieve the frustration, insecurity, and muscle tension that accompany stress.

Wider Perspective

Seniors often face significant physical and life changes such as chronic health conditions or adjustments in financial status due to retirement. Laughter provides a mechanism for managing situations that may otherwise seem threatening. Maintaining a sense of humor can help create emotional distance, making it possible for your loved one to view his or her problems in a more realistic light.

Though laughter is not a cure-all, a good laugh can help your loved one stay positive during those times he or she needs it most. Having someone around to laugh with on a regular basis can ward off stress and even promote your loved one’s overall wellbeing. A caregiver from Home Care Assistance can be there for your loved one to help keep a smile on his or her face. In addition to companionship and assistance with basic daily tasks, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care Mississauga seniors can benefit from. For more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 today.