The Health Benefits of Laughter

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER

Have you laughed today? No, really. Seriously.

Laughter has immense mental and physical benefits. No matter how life goes, no matter what you face daily, you shouldn’t let a day pass by without you putting on a smile on your beautiful face. Laughter has many healing effects and you can benefit fully from it.

In a nutshell: sick of aerobics, running, weights, treadmills?

Laughter:

  1. Improves cardiac health
  2. Lowers blood pressure
  3. Triggers release of endorphins
  4. Activates T-Cells
  5. Lowers Stress Hormone levels

And makes you more likeable! And even helps tone your abs (serious laughter!).

Why is it healthy? Laughter in itself requires both an openness to the humor of things that ‘don’t’ fit and a relaxed state of mind. This is mental and physical. There are bad cousins of course – forced and cruel laughter, but even the former is considered by researchers to have benefits!

Laughter can also be infectious – like a happy disease. Just last night I could not stop laughing for 5 minutes My partner started laughing too – just because she caught the bug. I’d tell you what was so funny but…. Anyway, here’s what you get:

Improved mental health: Yes! Your mental health benefits greatly from laughter. Even though you cannot necessarily laugh off depression, a good sense of humor and laughter buffers the negativities of life that could trigger episodes of depression. Also, studies have shown that people who fight off depression using laughter feel very positive and less lonely about themselves. A study evaluating the health benefits of humor therapy found that it was as effective as antipsychotic medications – not including the side effects – in managing agitation in patients with dementia. I myself can attest to this, based on my experience with a relative.

Physical benefits: Even though we can’t say how many laughs you need each day to keep your doctor away, many studies have shown that people who have a good laugh frequently tend to enjoy better health, along with a general feeling of wellness. Laughter also happens to be a widely-used complementary therapy among patients with cancer, with many testifying to its healing effects.

Benefits to your heart health: Laughter improves the health of your heart. Studies have shown that when you laugh, a lot of oxygen-rich blood flows in your body, creating a chemical rush that combats the stress and negative feelings. Endorphins are increased – just as with activities such as listening to your favorite music and engaging in a good workout. You’ll agree with me that laughter deserves a place on the list of effective stress busters.

WHERE TO GO
In some cases, you have to consciously force a laugh. If you are having a stressful day or the times are tough – work stress, an illness, or a tight budget – then it could really help to incorporate laughter into your life.

  • Do laughter yoga: Laughter yoga is an expert combination of exhalation and yoga breathing techniques. The result is the creation of a self-induced “laugh” that bestows all the benefits of humor-based laughter. You can incorporate yoga laughter into your daily life by adding a bit of “ha ha ha” when you introduce yourself or shake hands – to other fans of laughter, precisely! More information is available on Laughter Yoga International.
  • Join a laughter group: Try getting together with other people to laugh. Sometimes, laughing alone can be a bit hard, unless you’re used to it. You can search for no less than 6000 social laughter clubs at Laughter Yoga International globally and locate the one that’s closest to you.
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