If you've had a miscarriage, laughter may be the farthest thing from your mind. After my first miscarriage, I felt so completely bereft, I thought I might never laugh again. I even remember how long it took before I did laugh again. It was three weeks and it seemed like a lifetime. Laughing may feel disloyal somehow. It may feel like you're not being appropriately respectful of your loss.
However, if you've had a miscarriage, it might be a good idea to try to find some humor somewhere in your life. It turns out that the old adage “laughter is the best medicine” may have a lot of truth to it. Researchers at Oxford University had people watch various videos then tested their reactions to and tolerances for pain. People who had watch humorous clips (as opposed to documentaries) had a higher tolerance for pain.
The actual physical act of laughing actually increase endorphins, which are a natural pain killer. The benefits of laughter also include lowered blood pressure, increased blood flow, lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increased immune system function.
The benefits are not just physical either. Studies suggest that laughter may help with the increase production of dopamine a “feel-good” neurotransmitter in the brain.
After my second or third miscarriage, I noticed something odd about the office of the doctor where I had my D&E procedures. For the most part it was just your basic doctor's office. However one small space had been sectioned off as sort of a consultation cubicle. The walls of this space where papered with large glossy pictures of decadent looking deserts. There were pictures of pies and cheesecakes and fudge lava cakes. They were completely incongruous with their setting and I did laugh and I did feel a little bit better when I did.
You don't have to laugh at something related to your miscarriage, in order to feel better. Understandably, there's precious little humor in such a loss and most doctors probably don't have amusing wall coverings like mine did. Th good news is that you will reap laughter's benefits if you are able to find anything at all to laugh about.
Laughter is healing and though it seems counter intuitive it may be just what you need after a miscarriage.