11 Reasons, Laughter Really May Be the Best Medicine of All

We’ve all heard the old saying that laughter is the best medicine, but new research is demonstrating that there may be some serious weight behind the adage. Numerous studies have shown that laughter can have a powerful effect on your well-being, happiness, and overall health and longevity, often in ways of which you aren’t even aware. Want to learn more? Read through our list of the health benefits of laughter to get a quick education on the matter. You may just find yourself wanting to watch a comedy, call up a funny friend, or even take a laughter yoga class after learning all the amazing benefits a good laugh can offer your overall health.


1. It relaxes the whole body.


Feeling tense? A good laugh may be just the thing to help you loosen up. Laughter uses numerous muscles throughout the body, and while these muscles are engaged many other muscles in your body relax. After you laugh, the muscles you use to laugh relax as well, leaving you much less tense than before and often feeling much more energetic. Additionally, muscles can also become tense due to not getting enough oxygen, something laughter can also help to remedy by increasing the flow of oxygen in the body.


2. It boosts the immune system.


According to research published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, laughter could be a key factor in helping to boost the immune system. The biggest way in which laughter helps to boost the immune system is by reducing stress, which can negatively affect health in a wide range of ways. Some studies suggest that laughter may also boost the level of protective white blood cells in the body, especially a type that attacks cancer cells, and can also increase the level of infection-fighting antibodies and other types of immune cells.


3. It triggers the release of endorphins.


If a good belly laugh leaves you feeling high on life, you’re not just imagining things. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. These chemicals can give individuals a sense of overall well-being and may even temporarily reduce pain and discomfort.


4. It protects the heart.


Laughter is especially crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, or so research suggests. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, both of which can help to protect you from heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues. More specifically, laughter helps to improve the inner lining of the blood vessels, called the endothelium, causing vessels to relax and expand, which increases blood flow. This is beneficial to both your heart and your brain, both of which require a steady flow of oxygen.


5. It reduces blood sugar levels.


Whether you’re diabetic or not, you shouldn’t discount the importance of laughter in helping to lower blood sugar levels. Regular laughter has been shown to significantly reduce levels of glucose in the body, a factor which can be important to both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.To see the biggest change, get in some good laughs immediately following a meal.


6. It helps maintain or restore a positive emotional outlook.


Depression is a serious issue, but research suggests that it could help to do a bit of laughing if you’re feeling down. In a study of depressed and suicidal senior citizens, research found that the patients who recovered the best were those who had a sense of humor. In these adults, laughter was found to reduce levels of depression and insomnia and to improve mental cognition and sleep quality. In addition, the release of endorphins caused by laughter can have a powerful effect on mood, improving outlook and general sense of well-being.


7. It increases blood flow.


The increased blood flow that comes along with laughing can help just about every part of your body. With increased blood flow come increased levels of oxygen in the body, which can help boost the heart and the brain, and in some cases have even been shown to improve creativity. If that wasn’t already enough, this increase in blood flow may also help to reduce digestive problems and speeds up healing.


8. It helps us to cope with difficult situations.


There’s no way around it: some things in life are just hard to deal with. Yet laughter can help make difficult situations easier to cope with. In a study of medical professionals who work with the terminally ill, those who worked in an environment where humor was used judged their workplaces to be more effective and reported greater job satisfaction and less stress. Similar results were found in the elderly, with those using humor reporting a better ability to cope, leading to greater life satisfaction.


9. It strengthens relationships.


New research into laughter suggests that it may have emerged as a common human behavior tens of thousands of years ago, and could have played a pivotal role in human evolution. Why? Laughter helps to promote group bonding and can act as a sort of social glue that helps even disparate groups come together. Even today it’s hard to deny the power of laughter to build and strengthen relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. And those with strong social ties often report better health and a better outlook on life than those with weaker ties.


10. It reduces stress.


Perhaps one of the best benefits of laughter is its ability to reduce stress. Laughter lowers the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the body by slowing the body’s stress response. In place of those stress hormones, laughter prompts the body to pump out loads of healthy hormones and chemicals instead, like serotonin and interleukins. The result is a big impact on your overall health, as stress has been linked to serious conditions like heart disease, depression, and cancer.


11. It has effects similar to exercise.


While you shouldn’t stop working out, new research suggests that laughter can give you many of the same effects. Cardiologist Michael Miller found that in a study of 20 healthy people, laughter did as much good for their arteries as aerobic activity. Miller’s findings are hardly isolated. Laughter researcher William Fry found that it took 10 minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the same level as after just one minute of hearty laughter. It even burns calories, at the rate of 50 calories per 10-15 minutes.


Contributed by: asharaj53 @ gmail.com



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