Who doesn’t love a great big belly laugh, right? In addition to being fun, did you know that laughter has health benefits? Laughter is an incredible tool to improve emotional wellbeing, relieve stress, reduce pain and improve relationships. And that’s just the beginning; good humor has many health benefits to support both emotional and physical health.
There have been numerous studies done on the benefits of laughter, including one by Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at the Loma Linda University in California. Some of their happy findings are listed below:
- Laughter can improve your cardiac health because it improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow.
- Laughter can lower your blood pressure (and therefore reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes).
- Laughter can reduce stress hormone levels and cut down on feelings of fear and anxiety.
- Since stress hormones are related to a lower immune system, reducing stress, through laughter, can actually improve your immune system.
- Laughter can Boost T cells which help you fight off sickness and disease.
- Laughter helps tone your abs because it gives your stomach muscles a good workout (similar to ab exercises).
- Laugher triggers the release of your body’s natural pain killing, mood lifting endorphins.
- Laughter helps you connect and bond with others and therefore helps to improve relationships.
- Laughter can improve your perspective and your mental wellbeing as it both energizes and relaxes your mind.
- Laughter triggers positive emotions and increases your overall sense of wellbeing.
For all of the above reasons and many, many more, be sure to get a healthy dose of good humor daily. Here are a few suggestions:
- Enjoy a comedy routine.
- Have fun with kids – they have a natural ability to laugh often.
- Turn on happy music and dance.
- Watch a funny movie.
- Read a joke book or the funny pages in the newspaper.
- Watch funny Youtube videos.
- Host a game night with your friends and/or family.
- Hang out with funny friends and just be silly.
Remember, as a timeless remedy for health and wellbeing, laughter is still the very best medicine!