The effects of laughter have been researched so closely that there’s even a name for the field of study: gelotology. If you have a loved one who’s going through Alzheimer’s or dementia, you could probably use the boost that laughter gives. Here are some facts on laughter and how it impacts your state of mind:
- Releases endorphins: These feel-good brain chemicals are naturally released by laughter. They improve our overall sense of well being.
- Balances emotions: Laughter has been shown to decrease sadness and anxiety, and even help diffuse anger. In general, it’s believed to be great at bringing balance to emotions.
- Helps with grief: For both you and your loved one, sharing a laugh can help you gain a positive outlet for grief.
- Eases depression: Many studies have shown the positive effects a good laugh can have on feelings of distress and depression.
- Increases bonding: Sharing a laugh with someone can help you bond with that person, establishing a connection even for those whose communication abilities have diminished.
We’re all human beings. Sometimes caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can make us forget that it’s our right to live, laugh and have fun. If you love someone with Alzheimer’s, then you’ve undoubtedly been through some tough times. Stress and tension can build up over time and you can start feeling disconnected from your sense of humor. Give yourself the gift of a laugher and allow yourself some much needed indulgence in humor.
Primrose Press May 2020 PDF