Laugh Your Way to Better Health
Have you ever enjoyed a really great laugh and thought, “Wow, I needed that!” Little did you know you how much you really did because laughter, says emerging evidence, is indeed good medicine.
A laugh relaxes the body and stimulates endorphins, promoting a feeling of well-being that helps us look at stressful or unhappy situations in a new light.
One study from the National Institutes of Health revealed that laughter stimulates the brain to counteract depressive symptoms, improving the quality of life and resilience in hospital patients. And while a good sense of humor isn’t a cure-all, research supports that laughter does indeed have healing and restorative properties. Some of the benefits of a good chuckle include:
- Relieves tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes
- Boosts your immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies
- Protects your heart by improving blood vessel function and increasing blood flow
- Helps shift your outlook intense or stressful situations so you fell less overwhelmed
- Reduces pain and aids the healing process
- Strengthens relationships with others by forming a common bond
So how can you add some laughs into your day? Follow these tips—it’s easier than you think!
- Spend time with friends who make you laugh.
- Decorate your office or living space with items that make you chuckle. A humorous picture or card can perk you up when you’re feeling down.
- Watch a classic funny movie or TV show.
- Go to a comedy club.
- Read the comics or buy a joke book.
- Watch funny YouTube videos.
- Switch your car’s radio to a comedy station.
No matter how busy you are or how many stresses you face in the day, it’s important to let yourself go and find humor in the little things. Those small, short moments can result in a major positive impact on your outlook and mood. So, start laughing! You won't regret it.