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Is laughter still the best medicine?

Laughter is the best medicine coronavirus

At some point in all our lives’ we have heard the expression that laughter is the best medicine. The coronavirus outbreak has become a physical and, increasingly, a mental health crisis. But can laughter still help us now?

The daily challenges we are facing may not seem like a suitable background for humour. However, it’s important to remember the benefits of having some positivity in our days, and importantly, to do this free from guilt or sadness due to our current lockdown.

What can laughter do for you?

There can be some great health benefits to finding a place for laughter in your day.

  • Laughter gives you an opportunity to emotionally distance yourself from the current situation. We are coping with remarkable circumstances and laughter is a great way to emotionally escape from your worries for a while.
  • Laughter improves mental well-being. It’s difficult to feel negative emotions, such as anger or sadness, when you’re having a good chuckle at something. Humour helps reduce negative emotions and replace them with more positive ones, giving you a chance to mentally recharge.
  • Laughter is a social activity. Although we are being encouraged to practice ‘social distancing’, it may be more accurate to describe this as ‘physical distancing’ whilst we maintain social contact in a safe way that follows the guidelines. Laughter and social contact (even if it's over the phone or a video call) are essential for people to thrive! It can strengthen relationships and foster a real sense of community.

Here are some suggestions for adding some positive energy into your day and boosting your mood.

Revisit a fun TV programme, film or book

As long as it brings a smile to your face then it’s doing the right job. You could even choose your favourite comedian and search their routines on Youtube.

Share fun things with your friends and family

Social media is saturated with funny clips and jokes. If you use social media then share these with your friends and family. Laughing together can make us feel better about our situation. But remember, if your social media is filled with news which gives you anxiety – take a break from it and try something else.

Spend time together in your household dedicated to fun

Within your household, if you find something funny, sit and watch that together, or play a fun boardgame or tell jokes to each other. They don't even have to be the funniest jokes out there, but they are all good for boosting mood.

Phone a friend

Even if you don’t use social media or the internet, you can still phone a friend and have fun together recalling good memories. Make a point of agreeing that coronavirus is a no-go topic – your friend will no doubt relish the break too.

Start a scrap book of funny things your family members have said or got up to

This will make you more aware of the lighter moments to appreciate them more. Feel free to add pictures and other interesting stories. Imagine looking back in years to come at your families ‘lockdown scrapbook’ of bad haircuts and poorly risen bread.

Start a joke jar

It’s quite simple to get a nice jar and some scraps of paper. Ask people in your household to write a funny joke on the paper, or phone some friends and write down their jokes which you can then put in the jar.  When having a low day get everyone together in the household or online and empty the jar allowing people to read out their jokes and share the laughs and groans.

It is okay to find this time hard

For many people this difficult and challenging time will make us feel anxious and worried. We will all have our days where things seem harder than others. Humour can help keep our spirits lifted but it’s okay to need more than that.


Always remember that Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland are here to support you. If you are feeling lonely or isolated, please call us and ask about our Kindness Caller Volunteers who will happily chat to you on a regular basis. We can also support you with any medical questions you have about chest, heart or stroke conditions.

Our Advice Line is free to call from landlines or mobiles on 0808 801 0899. Find out more here: chss.org.uk/advice-line-nurses