July 7, 2014

Laughter is not just the Best Medicine, it’s also Meditation.

laugh buddha

Warning: naughty language ahead!

We all laugh differently. Most have an outie laugh, whilst others have an innie laugh.

Some of us laugh annoyingly loud (like me), whilst others keep a poker face. Regardless of which way we laugh, it’s an act of deeply appreciating the fuck out of our experience.

It’s also known as a way to temporarily cure even the saddest emotional state. As the old adage goes, “Laughter is the best Medicine.”

Recently some new research has shown that the act of laughter is a form of meditation. In the past, scientists have measured the brain wave frequencies of people who meditate, and recently they have done the same with those experiencing humor.

They’ve found that the two acts resemble each other in frequency.

Meditation is not only the act of changing our brain wave frequency, but the way that we’re wired. It’s like brainwashing ourselves. The exact parameters are fluid, so what follows are roughly the stages of meditation.

We start in a beta range which is around 13-40 cycles per second (Hz). It’s our normal waking state. Then we enter the alpha range of 7-13Hz. Following is the theta range of 4-7Hz and the delta range of 0.5-4Hz.

The slower we go the deeper we go.

There is also the gamma range, which is the most recently understood frequency of consciousness. It is reserved for the range above 40Hz and is thought to occur whilst having an insight or a revelation. It’s the light bulb moment.

It is the alpha stage that we can reach daily without the need for focused or advanced meditation. All we have to do is stop that annoying noise of our chattering ego. Normal activities such as sex, exercising, snowboarding, cooking or even reading a book are potentially alpha states of meditation. The kids will be spewing once they find out that reading is actually good for us.

And now we know that laughing is an alpha state too. It’s instant meditation.

Finding humor in even the most challenging emotional state is good for us. I don’t know how many times myself or a friend has been upset or angry about something and one of us makes each other laugh. “You should see your face right now mate.”

Or when we’re in a completely rational argument with our partner about why the thing that we could do in that moment isn’t done. It breaks the strongest of emotional walls and instantly changes the dynamics of the experience.

We both feel much better for it.

That’s why it’s so important to laugh with the most difficult experiences we have in life. Not only is it good for us, it’s fucking funny.

We know that meditation is not only empowering and enlightening, but that it’s also super healthy, such as helping us overcome anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia. It helps with physical pain, such as back problems. It’s even sometimes considered a miracle pill for managing symptoms of chronic illness.

Therefore, now we know why laughter is the best medicine. It’s good for these problems. We also don’t have to listen to ourselves continually bloody whinge about life too.

Ultimately, If we have a bad attitude, we’re going to have a bad time. In contrast, if we have a good and light-hearted attitude, we’re going to have a rad time.

And we’ll be healthier for it too.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Jack Zalium/Flickr

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