Have you ever been in a tense or difficult situation when you suddenly burst into a fit of giggles? Laughter is healing, rejuvenating, and cultivates positivity, so it’s no surprise that science backs up the claim that “laughter is the best medicine.” Sometimes all it takes to perk yourself up is a fit of laughter, and in today’s busy world, we could all use some more chuckles. Here are the reasons why laughter really is the best medicine:
1.Laughter protects your heart
Show your heart some love by laughing more each day. Laughing boosts cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood vessel functionality, and increasing blood flow. Laughter also gets your heart pumping and can burn nearly as many calories per hour as walking.
2.Laughter reduces stress
In today’s society stress seems to be everywhere, affecting almost everyone. While it’s true that adult life brings with it a number of responsibilities, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t unwind and have a good laugh from time to time. In fact that’s exactly why we need to! Laughing lowers the levels of cortisol in our bloodstream, commonly known as the stress hormone. Less cortisol = less stress.
3.Laughter burns calories
Have you ever felt a bit tired after spending a night laughing with friends? There’s a good reason for that. Laughter is, after all, a physical activity. While it’s not as good of a workout as going for a run, 10–15 minutes of laughing can burn 50 calories.
4.Laughter relieves pain
People who are laughing don’t experience less pain, however they report being less bothered by the pain they do experience. It’s not about changing pain levels. The amount of pain remains the same, but your perceived pain levels reduce and your belief that you can cope increases. Laughter by itself isn’t the solution but it can help a person overcome discomfort.
5.Laughter helps to breathe better
Do you realize that every time we breathe in and out we expand our lungs and stretch and relax our muscles? It’s no wonder that there’s a new yoga discipline that’s been developed focused on laughter. It bases itself on the fact that laughing for a period of time can help to regulate breathing and bring oxygen to the lungs.
6.Laughter releases happy hormones
Some experts believe that laughter has the power to heal. Why? Well, because when we laugh, aside from a feeling of freedom, we encourage our bodies to release hormones that increase our overall happiness. Dopamine improves our mood, adrenaline makes us more alert and receptive, and serotonin is a calming, pain-relieving endorphin.
7.Laughter fosters connection
Humans are naturally social creatures with an inherent desire to develop meaningful bonds, so why not laugh our way through life, together? Laughing with others can naturally foster connections as well as strengthen existing relationships. Some researchers believe that the most important function of laughter is to help people form relationships.
8.Laughter helps to fight depression
Those suffering from forms of depression often struggle to feel joy for any extended period of time. However, most people with depression can still laugh, and that laughter can be part of their treatment. The effectiveness of laughter as a treatment for depression centers on the mind-body connection. Laughter helps us feel physically better and those physical improvements-better blood flow, more oxygen, less stress, better sleep, which in turn improves our mood.
9.Laughter aids in digestion
Have you ever laughed so much that your face muscles literally ached? It’s worth the pain, of course, and those aren’t the only muscles you work! Your abdomen also gets a workout, contracting as you laugh. Due to the large number of muscles in the abdominal area, laughter increases the production of gastric juices, which also helps the digestive process.
10.Laughter boosts immune system
Have you ever gotten sick after a period of prolonged stress? Stress is tough on the body, and chronic stress and tension can weaken the immune system. Since laughter decreases stress and increases positive emotions, you can count on laughter to strengthen immunity as well. In addition to protecting your body from common ailments, the effects of laughter go much further.
11.Laughter combats insomnia
Many of us have experienced the annoying situation of going to bed after a stressful day only to find it almost impossible to sleep, as your mind plays certain events over and over. To combat this, there’s nothing better than watching something funny on TV or getting together with friends for a good chat and a laugh or two. Studies have shown that our cerebral cortex releases electrical impulses that block the passage of negative thoughts one second after we start laughing. In other words, the longer you laugh for, the happier you’ll be.
12.Laughter makes us less aggressive
Very often the best way to help a tense situation is with a dash of humour. We’ve all experienced one of those deathly silent moments following an unpleasant or unwanted comment, and it’s during these moments that negative emotions such as anger and aggression can arise. A funny remark that manages to produce a laugh can calm the atmosphere and clear the air, preventing the situation from escalating.
13.Laughter makes us more sociable
Laughter can also help us when it comes to our personal relationships not only with people we already know and feel comfortable with, but with strangers and those we hardly know, too. When we share funny moments with people we’re more likely to open up and talk more about our personal lives afterwards. Something else worth bearing in mind-according to studies, it’s 30 times easier to laugh when we have company, so arrange a get-together with friends and laughter is pretty much guaranteed.
14.Laughter improves quality of life
Laughter makes us feel good. It eases stress, worry, and anxiety that weigh the body down and helps us think more positive thoughts. Having an optimistic outlook can enhance your quality of life and ability to cope through difficult situations. Laughing may even help you live longer.