Laughter Is The Best Medicine
We have heard it so many times that “laughter is the best medicine” but perhaps we need to be reminded more often about the health benefits it provides us physically, emotionally, mentally, and even socially.
Laughter Boosts The Immune System
Laughing reduces the stress hormones and increase the immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies which can improve our resistance to disease.
Laughter boosts T-Cells, the specialized immune system cells just waiting to be activated. When you laugh, these T-cells are activated and start to help fight off sickness.
Laughter and positive thoughts go together. You cannot have negative thoughts when you are laughing.
When we have negative thoughts, they can cause chemical reactions that affect the body by bringing stress into the system and decreasing our immunity against diseases.
On the other hand, positive thoughts enable us to cope better with stressful situations so its harmful effects can be lessened.
Laughter Relieves Stress
Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. When stress hormone levels are reduced, there is also a reduction of anxiety and stress. Less stress can result in higher immune system performance.
Laughing at a funny joke can relieve some of your day’s stress.
A 2003 study in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine has shown that viewing a funny film decreased a variety of stress hormones.
Laughter Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the side effects of stress. It is a dangerous side effect and is a huge risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
When you’re laughing you are not stressed.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Dental and Medical Research shows a reduction of blood pressure after laughter.
Laughter Helps Reduce Pain
Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers and the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Laughing can release these endorphins which help ease pain and help you feel good. These endorphins promote a general sense of wellbeing.
Laughter Relaxes The Muscles
A hearty belly laugh stimulates circulation and encourage muscle relaxation which helps to relieve stress and physical tension. It exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs, and works out the shoulders, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to several minutes.
Laughter Is Good For The Cardiovascular System
Laughter is a good cardio workout, especially for those who cannot do other physical activity due to injury or illness. It gets the heart pumping and burns the same amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.
A study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories, enough to lose about three or four pounds in a year.
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which help protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Research has shown that laughter helps to reduce artery inflammation and increase the production of HDL, the good cholesterol.
A deep belly laughter can help increase heart rate, respiratory rate, and intake of oxygen-rich air. These are also what happens to your body during exercise.
Laughter Eases Anxiety And Tension
It is hard to feel anxious, angry, or sad when laughing.
Laughter helps you recharge and relax.
Laughter can change your perspective, allowing you to see situations in a less threatening light. A humorous perspective can help you diffuse conflict or tension, and not feel so overwhelmed.
Laughter Acts As Natural Antidepressant
Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
A 2015 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine discovered that undergoing three 60-minute laughter therapy sessions improved the negative mood and depression of cancer patients.
Laughter Improves Relationships With Others
According to a 2010 study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, smiling and laughter are commonly intended as a message of good will.
Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.
Laughter brings people together and strengthens relationships.
How To Add Laughter Into Your Life
- Watch funny videos or TV shows. Watch YouTube clips of The Big Bang Theory, Frasier, The Nanny, Perfect Strangers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Friends.
- Read funny books, comic strips, jokes. You can find jokes all over the internet.
- Watch stand-up comedians on YouTube
- Be with funny people (online, of course as we are now in our “new normal” way of life)
- Listen to other’s laughter. Laughter is contagious. If you can get a recording of laughter (especially children’s laughter), then do so and listen to it as often as you can.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Norma (author) on December 22, 2020:
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 21, 2020:
Nice right up.