April 14 marks International Moment of Laughter Day and the month of April is designated as Stress Awareness Month.
According to motivational humorist and psychologist, Izzy Gesell, laughter is one the healthiest things a person can do. Because of this, in 1992, Gesell deemed April 14 as International Moment of Laughter Day to remind people to enjoy a good laugh and maybe share that levity with someone else. Finding positivity in life was the motivation behind the design of this happy holiday.
Gesell was correct in his statement that laughter is healthy for us all. Some short-term benefits of laughter include stimulation of many key organs like the heart and lungs, activating and releasing of our body’s natural stress response, and soothing tension. The long-term benefits of laughter, according to the Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2021), include boosting of the immune system, pain relief, increased personal satisfaction, and elevation of mood.
We can all agree that life is stressful and a moment to pause and enjoy life and chuckle is much needed. Laughter also has many social benefits that can improve our mental health while reducing anxiety and tension. A good laugh strengthens resilience, our personal and professional relationships, and defuses conflict.
On April 14, we should take time to reflect on what makes us happy and what and whom causes us to smile. The laughter that follows will boost our emotional, behavioral, and social connections as we simply share our joy.