Laughter is one of the best emotional and physical therapies for anyone under stress. Laughing releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are like the nerve-numbing drug morphine and serve to reduce harmful chemicals in the body that are released by stress.
As you know first-hand, one of the best ways to increase comfort in negative situations is to break the ice with laughter. When everyone is thinking the worst or feeling anxious about a situation, laughter can dissipate the tension just enough to give everyone a more manageable perspective on an issue.
Of course, serious issues deserve a focused approach. But whenever laughter can be introduced, the resulting release in tension can be a tremendous opportunity to lift above the doom and gloom so we can clarify our minds. We can then think more effectively about solutions for the problem at hand.