10 Reasons Why Humour and Laughter is Healthy for You

Although it is still not yet scientifically proven how humour and laughter really helps us, you have to admit that when you do laugh you feel so much better. We all know that laughing can lift your mood, but do you know that it can also have a lot of other health benefits, not only for ourselves, but for the people around us as well.

Humor and Laughter

There are 3 main categories in which laughter can benefit and these are the Physical Health Benefits, the Mental Health Benefits and the Social Benefits.

Physical Health Benefits of Laughter

  • Boosts Your Immune System – Laughter can rank right up there with the well-known Super Foods and Multivitamins when it comes to your immune system. Laughter can decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, therefore improving your resistance to disease.
  • Decreases Pain – Laughter can be used as a pain killer and the best part of it, is that it is free! Laughter triggers the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
  • Gives you a Mini Workout – Researchers say that laughing 100 times is the equivalent of 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on the exercise bike. You have also probably heard of the expression “my stomach aches from too much laughing”. Well in fact this can be true because when you laugh you exercise your diaphragm and your abdominals contract giving them a good workout.
  • Prevents Heart Disease – Laughter can improve the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow which in turn protect you from a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. A study from The University of Maryland indicated that laughter seemed to cause the endothelium (a tissue that composes the lining of blood vessels) to expand, allowing for better flow of blood. This can help prevent atherosclerosis which is the thickening of the arteries.
  • Improves Your Breathing – When laughing you actually empty your lungs of more air than it takes which results in a cleansing effect. You can have the same effect by breathing deeply. This can be significant for people who suffer from respiratory ailments such as asthma.

Mental Health Benefits of Laughter

  • Decreases Stress – When laughing stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine have a tendency to decrease. Stress hormones not only regulate the immune system, but they also contribute to much health related issues such as high blood pressure, depression and the control of diabetes.
  • Improves Your General Mood – Have you ever tried to be anxious or feel sad when you are laughing – impossible! Laughing naturally cheers you up and improves your mood, even if it is for a short period of time.

Social Benefits of Laughter

  • Strengthens Relationships – Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions with your loved ones can improve the quality of your relationships including partners, family members, friends and co-workers. This is because when you use humor and laughter you let go of any defensiveness you have and you stop being judgmental, putting aside any kind of criticism you have towards the other party.
  • Promotes Group Bonding and Enhances Teamwork – By having a good time and laughing in groups a positive bond is created between the members of the group. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements and disappointment which triggers positive feelings and emotional connections.
  • Attracts Other People To Us – Laughing is contagious so if you are in a laughing mood, you can bet your money on other people willing to join your company. People need a getaway from all of their problems, so even if it is just a short break, if you are a humorous person and make other people laugh as well, others will be attracted to you.

As you can see it is to your interest and others, to laugh and be humorous. The world is all too serious as it is so be the one to stand out and make a positive difference to the rest.

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