Laughter helps recovering addicts in profound ways. Those who find it in them to inject humor and laughter into their daily lives, even despite challenges, can benefit and be more successful in maintaining sobriety.
The Addict’s Brain
Addiction changes not just the person. Its effects can be traced all the way to the chemistry of the brain. Addiction hijacks how you feel pleasure, get motivated, and remember things. It affects how you behave and make decisions.
With the addict brain, your reward and pleasure system is rewired so you repeat the addictive behavior as if it is the only thing that gives you pleasure. This is why the things you don’t fine pleasure and fulfillment in before doesn’t seem to be so appealing now.
Thus, with recovery, your brain is being rewired to change your “normal” which used to be the activities wherein addiction is front and center. And here, laughter can be crucial.
How Laughter Helps Recovering Addicts
First of all, laughter gives you a boost of endorphin, that chemical that gives you a happy feeling, or a “high.” This can help you feel good without needing to resort to drugs and other addictive substances or behavior.
By being happy, or pretending to be one (like in AA’s “fake it ’til you make it” dogma), you elevate your mood and make what seems to be a dull, burdensome day more bearable. Some even resort to laughter therapy, where people use techniques to make themselves laugh or to cheer themselves. After all, laughter is the best medicine–and it is free. You can laugh anywhere, anytime, and it doesn’t take special tools or lessons. You just do it.
In fact, aside from endorphins, laughter also produces dopamine, a naturally occurring substance in the brain. When you’re using cocaine, your brain gets overloaded with dopamine, which overtime can help develop addiction.
With laughter, you naturally flood your brain with dopamine, this feel-good chemical, and you get a natural high.
By using laughter as a coping mechanism, you will eventually find that you don’t need drugs. Instead of turning to addiction to combat any negative feelings or events in your life, laughter can help you cope. It can help soothe your emotions, and the problems don’t seem so desperate at all.
With laughter, you learn to be more positive, to look at things in different perspectives, and not take things too seriously. You learn to lighten up, release things you have no control over, and engage in something pleasurable and natural.
By learning how laughter can help in your own recovery, you are learning to choose positive over the negative, humor over drama. And you feel good about it too.
If you find yourself still struggling with addiction or having a hard time trying to be sober, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.