Laugh Away!

Mid age couples painting with watercolors

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.

Victor Hugo

Being able to laugh is one of the joys of being human. Poets, authors, creators, artists, researches, and many others have spent years contributing to making us laugh or sharing with the world the importance of laughter. There must be a reason why so much time has been spent playing in the land of humor. As it turns out, there is good reason. Keeping reading to find out why.

Hello cardiac health – Believe it or not, but laughter can be a good cardio workout as it encourages your heart to work. The calorie burn is actually similar to walking at a slow to moderate pace. Additionally, laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow as well as lowers blood pressure. The benefit is increased protection again heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular related issues.

Stress hormone level reduction and body relaxation – When stress hormone levels are reduced it also reduces the impact of anxiety and stress on the body. Plus a laugh will will help relieve physical tension and leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after that good laugh.

Immune system improvement and T cells – As mentioned above stress hormone level reduction is a benefit of laughter. Stress hormones affect the immune system and when the levels are lower your immune system performance increases. A specific example to look at is the activation of T cells that happens you laugh. These specialized immune system cells help you battle illness.

Endorphin release – Endorphins are known to be the body’s natural pain killers and when you laugh they release. Their release may help ease chronic pain and lead to a good feeling all over.

Introduce a sense of well-being – Laughter has the potential to increase your sense of well-being. Doctors have noted that when someone has a positive outlook on life that person tended to fight diseases better than someone who had a more negative outlook.

Say goodbye to distressing emotions – The brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. We can take advantage of it. When laughing you can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad.

Increase energy – On top of reducing stress, laughter increases energy which helps with staying focused to accomplish a task.

Perspective shift – The use of humor allows us to see situations in a more realistic light as well as a less threatening light. Having a humorous perspective allows for psychological distance which helps with avoiding feeling overwhelmed.

Strengthens relationships – Being humorous and playful strengthens relationship by triggering positive feelings and helping to foster emotional connections. Laughing together creates a positive bond that can act as a buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.

A few other interesting benefits: increased creativity, problem-solving ability, self-esteem, and resilience.

Laughter has the ability to impact so much so don’t be afraid to laugh and reap the benefits!

Resources and References:
Gaiam Life – 7 Health Benefits of Laughter – Laughter is the Best Medicine
PBS – Humor
WebMD – Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter
MayoClinic – Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke
Time – You Asked: Does Laughing Have Real Health Benefits?
Everyday Health – The Health Benefits of Laughter
Huffington Post – New Study Proves That Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine
US News Health – Go On, Laugh Your Heart Out. It’s Good for You
Laughter Yoga – Five Benefits of Laughter Yoga
NCBI – Laughter prescription

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