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Laugh a Little: Humor and Chronic Kidney Disease

Did you know that your mental health can directly impact your physical health?1 Taking care of your mental health, especially when you are managing chronic kidney disease (CKD), is important to your overall wellbeing. So, what if we all just laughed a little more? Laughter and a sense of humor can help relieve stress and add lightheartedness to even the most challenging moments. 

In a study published in the Journal of Aging Research, it was found that humor has a significant effect on both physical and mental health. The study gathered people with chronic pain and split the subjects into two groups: one group went through humor therapy and the other did not. After the 8-week study, the group that had experienced humor therapy reported significant decreases in pain and an increase in happiness and life satisfaction. 2

Many doctors and health care professionals recognize the benefits of humor in their dialysis patients. Some renal dietitians offer education in the form of entertaining games such as Bingo. The camaraderie that develops between dialysis patients and health care professionals at the dialysis center can be a great source of humor and a way to lighten the mood during a challenging situation

Humor and laughter can be positive distractions from stressful situations and may diffuse some of the negative emotions. A hearty laugh can lighten a mood for several minutes or several hours. While everyone has their own idea of what is funny, being able to find humor in any situation can help you deal with challenges that life throws at you.

Humor is a gift you give yourself and others. There are many things in life that need to be taken seriously, such as watching your kidney diet, taking your prescribed medication and sticking to your treatment schedule. However, humor can be serious business, too, especially when it is used as an effective therapy for your physical and mental health.

1. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/physical-health-and-mental-health

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989702/