laughter is the best medicine

to:                     Iowa High school Speech and Drama Coaches

from:               Healthiest State initiative

subject:           laughter as an essential tool to good health

date:                 3/12/12


When does a skeleton laugh?

When something tickles its funny bone.


You laughed, didnÕt you?  Congrats, you just gave yourself a dose of good health.  YouÕve heard it countless times, laughter is the best medicine. Turns out, it is an excellent tool in building overall health. ThatÕs why the Healthiest State Initiative is promoting the benefits of laughter this spring as we spotlight the importance of emotional fitness in overall health. 


Laughter – reduces stress and boosts your health


According to the Mayo Clinic, a good laugh produces stress-reducing hormones and increases endorphins released by your brain. A good belly laugh engages nearly every muscle in your body, expands your lungs, stimulates your brain, and gets your heart pumping. Studies show laughter reduces pain, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure, improves learning, relieves stress, and is overwhelmingly contagious. 


Build emotional health


Join us in an effort to shine a spotlight on improving our emotional health and relieving stress through laughter. The campaign kicks off April 2, 2012, as Iowa celebrates its first Laugh Out Loud day. Find links on our website to a number of stress management resources, including tips on managing the pressure of finals.


Share a laugh


Simple ideas on how to spread laughter and improve health in your school:

Promote Laugh Out Loud day on April 2, 2012 (flyer on our website).

In the weeks before school ends, give speech and drama students an assignment that incorporates humor.

Have a contest to see who gets class to laugh the hardest.

                  Have students produce their own version of SNL or the Daily Show.


We invite you to spend a minute tickling your funny bone as together we build a healthier Iowa.  Share the humor. Post your funny photos or videos on our Facebook page.