By Katrina Liu

Cliche quotes are my least favorite thing on earth, but there is one that I can handle because of how true it is: “laughter is the best medicine.” The reason I stand behind this quote with my whole heart is because of all the times in my life that it has proven to be true. 

Laughter is all around us. From random people on the street to when one of your professors cracks a joke in the middle of a lecture, it’s rare to go a day without hearing laughter or laughing yourself. Those times where you cannot stop laughing and feel like you can’t breathe? Those are the best times. 

You see all different kinds of people laughing because it is an emotion that is universally felt. It is an action that everyone can do, no matter what part of the world you are from. It connects us in some way, which is amazing in a world that sometimes seems so polarized.

Scientifically, laughter contains many health benefits. According to a study done by the University of Kentucky, laughter “stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning.” This allows a greater retention rate. Deep laughter can be compared to deep breathing. When you breathe in, you empty your lungs of more air than you take in, sending more oxygen-rich blood and nutrients into your body.

At our worst days, even a small chuckle can lift up our moods. There’s a reason why people crack jokes to lighten up the mood, because it isn’t the actual joke that makes people feel better, but the laughter that follows it. Therefore, don’t scold the people who “can’t seem to be serious” in sad situations, because they’re just trying to make us laugh. That’s their way of coping. 

My friends tell me that I laugh at everything and I take that as a compliment. I find myself laughing multiple times a day over the stupidest things. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a day without laughing, even on the worst days of my life. Laughter is the first step to feeling better about life. Try it sometime.