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How Being Funny Can Help Mental Health!

Laughter is the best medicine, apparently. Read on - and have a giggle - to discover how being funny can help mental health!

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Beano Team
Last Updated:  April 28th 2022

Someone once said that 'laughter is the best medicine'. We’re not sure who it was, but we’re pretty sure that they weren’t a scientist trying to come up with a cure for a global pandemic. Anyway, though it might not be technically true, there are lots of ways that being funny can help your mental health. Here are 10 of them.

1. Smiling releases endorphins!

According to scientists, when you smile your brain releases hormones called endorphins that cause a feeling of happiness and relaxation. So, smiling makes us happy? You don’t need to be a Professor of Brain Science to know that!

2. Laughing hard makes your heart pump!

Laughing hard (otherwise known as a violent guffaw) activates your body’s stress response mechanism making your heart pump like a cyclist in a cactus field. This process changes your heart rate leaving you in high spirits (unlike the cyclist!).

3. Laughing makes your blood move quickly!

Your heart beating more quickly means blood is pumped around your body faster than a teenager can say “Where’s my pocket-money?” This faster heart speed can cause a calming sensation that reduces tension and stress. Interestingly, asking a grown up for pocket money increases their tension and stress!

4. Chuckling releases neuropeptide thingies!

Apparently, chuckling at happy thoughts lead to the release of neuropeptides. These fancy brain chemicals are known to fight anxiety. We have no idea how this works but we imagine it’s a bit like a boxing match between angry tiny particles! Ask your nearest scientist if this is true.

5. Giggling makes you tough!

Giggling causes your body to release natural painkillers which can help you deal with physical pain. Next time someone fouls you during a game of football, get your physio to tell you a joke when he’s administering the cold spray!

6. Funny Friends Are Good Friends

Having a good sense of humour helps you make friends. Good friends can help you through a lot of difficult situations. Someone wise once said that a problem shared is a problem halved. Maybe they were talking about Kit-Kats though.

7. Laughing helps you sleep more soundly!

Yes, we know you know that laughing makes you less stressed. But did you know that less stress can help you sleep? A good night's sleep is essential for positive mental wellbeing! Remember the time that you felt sad because you’d been served the wrong cereal at breakfast time? We bet you’d just had a sleepover and stayed up really late!

8. Laughing can help us understand the world!

A boy looking at a globe with a magnifying glass

Sometimes finding the humour in bad situations helps us come to terms with things that we can’t change. In this way comedy can help us understand our world and ourselves!

9. Jokes can break down barriers!

Sometimes humour can be used to break down barriers between people of different cultures or opinions. A smile or joke at the right time can help people understand that you want to be friends!

10. Laughter makes us fart like a tractor!

A man smelling a bad fart

According to Scientist, Dr Eric Fauxfacte, laughter can make us fart. Sometimes holding in farts can make us anxious. Also the sound of a fart makes people laugh and as we know from the previous 9 facts, that’s no bad thing.

DISCLAIMER: The last fact was made up.

For help and support with how you’re feeling, visit youngminds.org.uk/find-help.