No time is more appropriate to acknowledge the health benefits of laughter than right now.
Seriously, laughter is strong medicine – for the body and the mind. Nothing works faster to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. And that’s not just us trying to lift your spirits – that’s based on real science.
It’s true. Science proves a hearty hahaha or lol works wonders for your health! Take a look:
The Health Benefits of Laughter
There are tons of health benefits of laughter. Laughter triggers healthy physical and emotional changes in the body, both short-term and long-term – check this out:
1. Laughter boosts your mood and protects Against the effects of stress
Have you ever wondered why you feel so good after a hearty laugh? It’s because laughing activates and relieves your stress response. Laughing boosts, and then cools down, your stress response, increasing and then decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
When you laugh, it stimulates circulation and helps your muscles relax. Both of these help to reduce stress. A good laugh can actually leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
Laughter also boosts your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart and lungs, and increases the happy endorphins released by your brain.
2. Laughter strengthens your immune system
Long term stress causes chemical reactions in your body that are directly linked to decreased immunity. On the flip-side, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and boost your immune system.
And tell me that doesn’t sound really good right now!
Research even suggests that laughter may improve natural killer (NK) cell activity. Low NK cell activity is linked to decreased disease resistance and increased morbidity in people with cancer and HIV, and laughter has been suggested as a potential complimentary therapy for cancer patients.
3. Laughter Lessens pain
We’re not going to say that if you break your leg, laughter will make the pain go away (wouldn’t that be nice), but it might help lessen it!
It’s true! Because laughing signals the brain to release endorphins, in addition to giving us that happy buzz, these endorphins also increase our ability to ignore pain! So, while technically not turning the pain off, it makes it easier to handle.
4. Laughter helps you release anger
Over the last few weeks, with everything going on, I’m sure there’s been at least one point where you’ve been mad – and that is OK! You’re allowed to feel like that – you just don’t want to live in it and have it take over.
Laughter helps release those angry feelings and you’re less likely to be annoyed by something or someone if you’re in good humor than if you’re not.
5. Laughter Burns Calories
According to a researcher from Vanderbilt University, 10-15 minutes of laughter burns as many as 50 calories. This is because, when you laugh, your muscles contract, just like when you exercise! And sure, you’re not going to turn to laughter for dieting, but that just tells you how much laughter impacts your entire body!
Taking Advantage of the Health Benefits of Laughter
Laughter has incredible powers to heal and renew. Whether you’re sitting around with friends (virtually or in person), watching a funny movies, reading a comedic novel, or even just scrolling through funny gifs, a good laugh is always great for your health!
Best of all, this priceless medicine is totally free! Laugh away friends.