It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. Indeed, studies have shown that laughter has a wide range of health benefits. Whether you are quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon or guffawing at a hilarious movie, laughter can increase happiness, relieve stress, and protect you from a wide range of illnesses. Therefore, considering all of these benefits, everyone could use a little more laughter in their lives.
Here are some of the health benefits of laughter:
See also: How to Be a Happy and Healthy Person
1. Improved mental health
Studies have shown that people who laugh frequently feel more positive about themselves and less stressed. Laughter allows you to focus away from negative emotions such as guilt, stress, hatred, envy, and anger. In addition, it makes the challenging situations of our lives appear less threatening. This results in a greater peace of mind, thus improving our overall physical health. Humor therapy is even used by psychiatrists to manage a wide range of mental conditions.
2. Lower stress hormone levels
Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones such as dopamine, adrenaline, cortisol, and epinephrine. On the other hand, it triggers the release of feel-good endorphins which offer relief from stress, anxiety, and even pain. In addition, laughter activates the T cells in our bodies, thus helping boost the performance of your immune system. This means that you will be less susceptible to other illnesses or infections.
3. Internal workout
Not many people realize that laughter can actually help tone their abs. A good belly laugh causes the muscles in your stomach to expand and contract, just like they do when you work out at the gym. As a result, your abs get a much needed workout. In addition, laughter exercises the shoulders and diaphragm, thus leaving you more relaxed and helping burn calories.
4. Enhanced cardiac health
Laughter exercises your heart, thus significantly improving your cardiac health. When you are tense, your blood vessels tend to contract, thus restricting the flow of blood in your body. Laughter helps you relax and causes your blood vessels to expand and contract normally. This increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your body and stimulates different organs in your body. In addition, it lowers your blood pressure, thus protecting you from conditions such as strokes or heart attacks.
5. Better sleep
One of the best ways of enjoying good health is by having a good night’s sleep. However, many people are unable to sleep properly due to stress and other related conditions. Laughter puts your mind and body at ease, thus allowing you to sleep more peacefully.
There are several ways you can add laughter to your life. Instead of lamenting about life’s disappointments, learn how to laugh about them. Approaching life with a sense of humor will make you less susceptible to negative thinking and stress. Take time to watch funny movies and programs on the television. In addition, it would be advisable to go out with friends for parties, road trips, movies or plays. The contagious effect of laughter will ensure that you laugh more than you normally would.