Laughter and smiling



Another great blog post from Derek Fisher, and the perfect post to mark the first day of National Smile Month.


What can bring so much joy and happiness to others and is totally free?

What is the best medicine without getting a prescription?

What is infectious but everyone wants some?


Simply the answer is

Laughter and smiling.


Even better, this great pick me up medicine comes without any health warnings and you can never overdose on this.


A smile costs you nothing but it’s priceless to the recipient.

Smiling has a feel good factor even if it’s a false smile. Laughter is also a great feel good pick me up medicine. Once again even a false laugh makes you feel good.


Laughter releases a hormone in your brain called endorphin.

This then transmits a message to your body making you feel happy. It’s a great hormone to have and to be able to use.

Do me a quick favour please, just laugh for about ten seconds and see if you do feel happier after that time.


Some people say there is nothing to smile about and certainly nothing to laugh about. So let’s look at that statement for a quick minute.


There is no problem in not smiling or laughing but the knock on affect on one’s mental well being is such an adverse one. You feel depressed and can then become withdrawn . Your vibes become negative and your body language speaks volumes about you if this happens.

On the other hand, if you look on the bright side of life, and there is always a bright side, then you are jolly and have a real spring in your step both physically and mentally.

Laughter and smiling promote positivity.


May I quote the famous Ken Dodd song “Happiness, happiness the greatest gift that I possess “.


As I have already stated, a false laugh is just as effective for a feel good boost as a real laugh is.


Here’s a little experiment that I’ve carried out successfully quite a few times.

Go into a room where others are, the number of people dose not matter. Now start to laugh a little and then laugh more and more. You’ll be amazed at the reaction.

People will start to giggle and then laugh along with you. I’ve been asked “What’s so funny and tell us the joke”. I just laugh even louder. The affect on others is astonishing.


Here’s another experiment.


Walk down the street and smile at people and see how many smile back. You will be amazed.


Check out Laughter Therapy on the internet . This therapy is now used extensively worldwide and sessions are held by fully trained laughter therapists.

I’ve seen a few of these sessions in use in care homes. I was truly taken back with the results.

At the very best, people laughed and laughed and at the very least, people were smiling and happy.


Hence the saying “ laugh and the world laughs with you . Cry and you cry alone”.


Showing comedy programmes or films on TV is an excellent activity in a care home. Having a comedy act come into the home is another great form of entertainment. If you can get hold of a musical comedy then you will have a double win win all round.


I was on a train recently going from London to Birmingham and during the journey I noticed how many passengers casually looking around at their fellow passengers and once they made eye contact there were smiles and a friendly nod. That was so heartwarming to see.


A smile in essence means that you are happy to see the other person and it’s a friendly gesture that is also a great facial exercise .


 So many muscles are used in both a smile and a laugh.

Just raising the corners of your mouth used a minimum of 10 muscles.

There are approximately 43 facial muscles and whilst having a good belly laugh, most of these are used.

I have been asked if laughing is good for the respiratory system . Yes yes yes it certainly is. When you give out a laugh you are in fact exhaling therefore you are using your respiratory muscles.



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