Recovery is no laughing matter. It takes commitment, inner strength, and dedication to a new sober life. However, laughing can be a way to support you through those challenging moments of recovery. In fact, there are many ways in which you can bring the healing practice of laughter into your recovery from addiction.
What Laughter Can Do for You?
As you can imagine, laughter can immediately change your mood. If you’re upset, irritated, or sad, see if you can take a minute to laugh. It might be hard to shift your attention from irritability to laughter, but with a regular practice of laughing, you might think of laughter as a coping tool right in the moment. And if you can begin to laugh more regularly, laughing can change your mood, perspective, and the perception of your experience.
Interestingly, laughter doesn’t only change your perspective; it can also affect your physical, emotional, and psychological health. Laughing can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, increase blood flow, increase memory and focus, improve creativity, and reduce stress. If you’re interested in bringing more laughter into your life, here are some suggestions:
- Laughter Yoga – Believe it or not, there’s a practice called laughter yoga. It’s a way of inviting laughter into your life on a regular basis. Laughter Yoga includes voluntarily inducing laughter to stay positive. A group of people get together and simply start laughing for no reason at all. Once the laughing gets going, you might find that you don’t want to stop! It immediately changes your experience of life! Laughter yoga classes might also include relaxation techniques and yogic breathing to invite positive emotions into your day. Just like finding regular yoga classes around your local neighborhood, you might also find a laughter yoga class. And even if you can’t, online classes can bring laughter into your life.
- Laughing at Yourself – There are moments in life when we need to laugh at ourselves or we might end up crying instead. Recovering addicts have a tendency of beating themselves, being too serious, and being overly critical. Sometimes a good laugh at ourselves can help with self-acceptance and self-love. We all have faults and flaws and sometimes laughing at them can be good medicine.
- Laughter Therapy – Similar to laughter yoga, laughter therapy uses humor to promote overall health and wellness. It attempts to use the physiological benefits of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomforts. More and more research supports the use of laughter as a viable healing method. In fact, Cancer Treatment Centers of America uses laughter as regular part of their healing regime.
These are suggestions for adding more laughter into your life, especially if you feel your recovery becoming more and more serious. However, as mentioned above, recovery is very serious and deserves significant attention. Yet, once you’re confident in your sobriety and need help with staying positive, laughter might be the answer. Perhaps you can make telling jokes, smiling, and spontaneous laughter a regular part of your recovery.