Laughter Rocks

The Origin and Meaning of Laughter is the Best Medicine

“Laughter is the best medicine” is an adage that we often hear, usually when we need a pick-me-up or are navigating challenging times. This timeless proverb is deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness, used in myriad ways to cheer up friends, comfort loved ones, and create a sense of camaraderie during challenging situations. But where did this phrase come from? What’s the meaning behind it? And is there any truth to the saying?

Origin of the Phrase

Although it’s challenging to pinpoint the exact origin of the common proverbial saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” people can trace the saying to biblical times. 

The phrase connects with Proverbs 17:22 in the Bible, which reads: “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” This verse highlights the idea that positive emotions, exemplified by cheerfulness and laughter, can have a healing effect.

However, the exact phrase, as we know it today, became popular in the 20th century. The renowned magazine Reader’s Digest has been using “Laughter is the Best Medicine” as a regular feature title for humorous stories since the 1930s. This section of the magazine focuses on jokes and funny anecdotes shared by readers, embodying the spirit of the phrase by delivering laughter and amusement to its readership.


Meaning and Interpretation

The meaning of “Laughter is the best medicine” is relatively straightforward. It signifies the power of laughter and joy in combating adversity, reducing stress, and improving one’s mental and emotional state. It’s a reminder not to take life too seriously and to find humor in life’s ups and downs.

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On a deeper level, this adage speaks to the human capacity for resilience. It tells us that no matter how tough the circumstances, finding a reason to laugh can help keep us grounded, provide perspective, and foster a positive outlook.

The Scientific Truth Behind the Saying

While “Laughter is the best medicine” may sound like just an adage, a significant body of research supports its claims. Studies have found that laughter can produce several physiological and psychological benefits.

Smile and all will be well!

Firstly, laughter triggers the release of endorphins. That’s excellent news because they are your body’s natural feel-good chemicals. You’ll feel an overall sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain when this happens. 

Laughter also improves blood vessel functionality while increasing blood flow, which protects against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

On the psychological front, laughter can ease anxiety and tension, improve mood, strengthen resilience, and even improve memory. It stimulates many brain regions and can provide a refreshing brain workout.

Furthermore, shared laughter can foster bonding, enhance teamwork, and reduce conflict, which are crucial for maintaining healthy relationships at both personal and professional levels.

Stay Healthy and Be Happy!

“Laughter is the best medicine” is more than just a proverb—it’s a prescription for a healthy life. It reminds us of the healing power of joy and the significant benefits of incorporating humor and laughter into our daily lives. Whether watching a funny movie, sharing a joke with a friend, or learning to laugh at our mistakes, each guffaw and giggle offers a step towards better mental and physical health. So, let’s remember to laugh a little more because laughter is the best medicine.

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Updated 11/04/2023