We have all heard the saying that “Laughter is the best medicine”, but does laughter truly improve your health and overall well-being? Studies show that there is scientific evidence behind this philosophy that’s been passed down for so many generations. The interesting thing is that your body can’t distinguish between real and fake laughter. So whether it is forced or you are truly giggling, here are 7 amazing reasons to get some good laughs in each day.
1. Laughter Helps With Depression
When a person laughs, they release feel-good hormones and neuropeptides into the bloodstream as well as pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain. These are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which promote an overall sense of well-being. It is hard to be in a bad mood after a really good laugh. Life just seems a little bit brighter and less stressful.
2. Laughter Alleviates Stress & Improves Your Immune System
Dr. Lee Berk of Loma University Medical Centre, California, has been conducting laughter therapy research since the late 1970s. In 1989, Berk studied the effects of laughter and found a difference in cortisol levels based on blood samples taken before and after with his test and control groups. His experimental subjects watched an hour-long comedy while his control group did not,
What he found is that the cortisol levels (stress hormones) in the experimental subjects had decreased more rapidly in comparison to the control group. His research also showed that the level of natural killer cells (a type of immune cell that attacks viruses) is increased through laughter. These same cells are suppressed if the body suffers consistent long-term stress.
3. Laughter Connects People
If you have ever had a really funny moment…I mean a really funny moment with a coworker or an acquaintance, someone that you may not have known that well, can create such a powerful bonding experience. I have had a couple of those moments with coworkers and every time I think of them it puts a big smile on my face and I just start laughing.
Did you know there are laughter clubs that exist throughout the world? There is actually a doctor who is referred to as the “guru of giggling”. His name is Dr. Madan Katari and he developed laughter yoga in Mumbai and brought laughter therapy into the mainstream. Kataria set up the first laughter club in 1995 and there are now more than 5,000 laughter clubs across the globe.
Check out the Laughter Yoga Group if you are looking for some good laughing groups.
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4. Laughter Is Free. It Does Not Cost Money
There are a plethora of benefits to a good, old-fashioned belly laugh. A laugh that engulfs you, that makes you cry, or even worse, causes you to pee your pants. And for all of the mothers out there, you know that is one of the glamorous side effects of childbirth. The best part, though, is laughter is FREE! There is no cost to laughter. With all of the things that cost money these days, this is one thing that we can share with our loved ones that is easy and free. It improves your immune system and it’s free…Sign Me Up!
5. Laughter Is Contagious. It Helps Improve the Mood of Those Around You As Well.
Laughter not only helps you feel better but it can improve the moods of the people around you. Have you ever seen a friend or a loved one laughing really hard and then within minutes you are laughing too? By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, you can improve the quality of your relationships. Laughter establishes and restores a sense of connection between people.
6. Laughter Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
During a good laugh, respiration in your chest, heart rate, and blood pressure temporarily rise because it enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air. This stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. This increase of oxygen surging through the bloodstream then results in lower blood pressure.
7. Laughter Burns Calories
Laughing burns calories – laughter is sometimes referred to as “inner jogging”. Laughter can provide a full-scale workout for your muscles. A hearty laugh gives the muscles of the face, chest, shoulders, stomach, and diaphragm some serious exercise. After an intense laugh, muscles in the body are relaxed for up to 45 minutes afterward.
So there you have it! Even if you’re having a bad day, try to find something that brings you joy and laughter. You won’t regret it.
Laura is a Holistic Health Coach & Founder of Holistic Life Community in Wakefield, MA. She opened this center to be a resource & provide a community of holistic professionals that are dedicated and passionate in helping, educating & guiding people on their journey to find health, balance and joy in life again. Her 3 daughters propelled her into this work, when they were born with severe food allergies. Regular medicine provided no solutions, so she went on a mission to find a way to help her kids. She looked to Alternative Medicine and found holistic approaches that cured her kids of their food allergies, Lyme Disease and then her own life long struggle with depression & anxiety. She is passionate about giving people hope using holistic approaches.
- 1 1. Laughter Helps With Depression
- 2 2. Laughter Alleviates Stress & Improves Your Immune System
- 3 3. Laughter Connects People
- 4 4. Laughter Is Free. It Does Not Cost Money
- 5 5. Laughter Is Contagious. It Helps Improve the Mood of Those Around You As Well.
- 6 6. Laughter Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
- 7 7. Laughter Burns Calories
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