Is Laughter Really The Best Medicine?
No. A healthy lifestyle is! But laughter certainly can help to improve our health. Check out some of these benefits of having a good chuckle.
Laughter makes you feel better.
When you laugh, your body increases its oxygen intake and releases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. By laughing, you can release endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over. Laughter can increase your overall sense of well-being. Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. So smile, laugh, and live longer!
Laughter increases your immunity.
Negative stress can cause your body to release chemicals that weaken your immune system, making you more likely to contract a disease. Laughter, though, reduces negative stress and, in turn, prevents those chemicals from being released. Laughter also promotes the release of T-cells, which are specialised immune system cells that fight off sickness. Next flu season, you may want to consider laughing as much as you can!
Laughter promotes heart health.
People who lower their blood pressure, even those who start at normal levels, will reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack. So grab the Sunday paper, flip to the funny pages, and enjoy your laughter medicine.
Laughter helps you stress less.
By reducing the level of stress hormones, you’re simultaneously cutting the anxiety and stress that impacts your body. Additionally, the reduction of stress hormones may also result in higher immune system performance. Just think: Laughing along as a co-worker tells a funny joke can relieve some of the day’s stress and help you reap the health benefits of laughter.
Laughter increases connection with others.
If two people are laughing together, they will feel more emotionally connected. This makes laughter a great tool if you are going on a date or trying to make friends with a coworker. If you can get them laughing and laugh yourself as well, the two of you will both feel more connected to one another, and you will both leave the experience feeling more positive about the other person.
Laughter burns calories.
While you may not want to skip your workout routine in favour of watching stand up comedy, it’s still true that laughter does burn calories and can promote weight loss.
According to a study by the International Journal of Obesity, laughing for 15 minutes can burn 10-40 calories by raising your heart rate.
Laughter boosts mood and confidence.
The ability to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake is a truly valuable trait. Laughing at yourself allows you to build confidence and keeps minor setbacks from dragging you down. If you can laugh something off rather than letting it fester in your mind, you can move on much quicker and avoid letting a small problem become a major one.
8. Laughing Works Out Your Abs
Want to get six-pack abs? Laugh more often. Laughter causes the muscles in your stomach to contract in a similar way to doing crunches or situps. This is why you may feel your stomach hurting after a long period of heavy laughter.