Laughter can improve your mood in an instant. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. Sure, it’s fun to share a good laugh. But did you know it can actually improve your health? It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body.
Why Laughter Works
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor:
Lightens your burdens
Connects you to others
Keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
It also helps you to release anger and be more forgiving.With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
7 Powerful Health Benefits
1. Laughter Relaxes The Whole Body
A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
2. It Boosts The Immune System
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
3. Laughter Triggers The Release Of Endorphins
The body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
4. It Protects The Heart
Laughing improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
5. Laughter Burns Calories
OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
6. Laughter Lightens Anger’s Heavy Load
Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
7. Laughter May Even Help You To Live Longer
A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
By seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughing, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.
This article was originally published on helpguide.org.
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