We’ve all heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine.” But it turns out that it’s more than a cliché – the truth is that laughter really does have tangible health benefits. And as a healthcare professional, you’re always looking for ways to improve the lives of your patients. Why not incorporate some humor into your repertoire?
Here are some of the ways that laughter is good for patients – and for you.
Laughter can soothe stress.
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter helps to reduce the body’s natural stress response. It can even decrease your heart rate and blood pressure, and it soothes tension by stimulating circulation and muscle relaxation. All of this combines for a relaxed feeling in the body. Help to reduce your patients’ stress levels – and your own – by injecting a little laughter into your care routine.
Laughter can improve your immune system.
Did you know that laughing regularly can actually benefit your immune system’s functioning? Negative thoughts manifest themselves into chemical reactions – and some of those chemicals aren’t good for your body. On the other side of the coin, positive thoughts help your system to release neuropeptides that help to fight stress and illness. In this way, laughter is literally good for your body.
Laughter helps you connect with others.
Let’s face it – no one likes someone who doesn’t laugh and stays serious all the time. Laughter helps you connect with the patients around you; it’s a universal language. Laughter makes it easier to cope with difficult situations, which you’re likely to face at some point or another in your healthcare career. And it helps puts patients at ease, something that is especially helpful if you’re dealing with a nervous or frustrated patient.
Incorporate Laughter Into Your Care Routine
Adding appropriate humor into your arsenal of patient care techniques is a great idea – it will make the patients you care for feel better and improve your mood, too. While you don’t want to force it, incorporating the occasional joke or laughing good-naturedly at yourself can help you connect with patients and improve their well-being while they’re under your care.
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