10 Health Benefits of Laughter
Laughter is a part of human behavior regulated by brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations. Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group — it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others.
Laughing is a celebration of the good, and it’s also how we deal with the bad. Laughing, like crying, is a good way of eliminating toxins from the body. Since the mind and body are connected, you use an amazing amount of muscles when you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine’: we’re always being told that, but there’s actually more to a good giggle than just raising our spirits for a couple of minutes.
In fact, laughter is a big deal and has been shown to have many beneficial effects on human body in different ways. Just check out these 10 benefits of chuckling…
According to some recent research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, elderly optimistic people, those who expected good things to happen (rather than bad things), were less likely to die than pessimists. In fact, among the 65-85 year-old study participants, those who were most optimistic were 55 percent less likely to die from all causes than the most pessimistic people.
Boosts Your Immune System
Researchers have found that laughter actually boosts the immune system, increasing the number of antibody-producing T cells. This then makes us less likely to get coughs and colds. It also lowers the levels of at least four hormones that are associated with stress, so after a good giggle you should be far less tense and anxious.
A good chortle has been found to reduce pain. Not only does it distract you from aches, but it releases feelgood endorphin into your system that are more powerful than the same amount of morphine.
A British study shows how just 15 minutes of laughter can increase pain tolerance by around 10 percent as a result of endorphins being released in the brain. These endorphins cause something akin to a natural “high”, leading to pleasant feelings of calm, as well as temporary pain-relief.
Laughter has long been known to help people who are suffering from the either SAD or full-blown depression. Laughing reduces tension and stress, and lowers anxiety and irritation, which are all major factors that contribute to the blues. In a study published in Geriatrics and Gerontology International, it was found that laughter therapy reduced depression in elderly patients by inducing an feeling of well-being and improving their social interactions.
Boosts Your Relationship
If you’re looking to find a new partner, then laughter will help you find a new mate. Men love women who laugh in their presence and women actually laugh 125% more than men.
And if you’re already with someone, then a shared sense of humour is an important factor in keeping your relationship running smoothly.
Laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you laugh more. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can diminish their stress levels, and possibly improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!
The more you laugh with others, the more likely you are to be remembered for the positive energy and feelings you bring. Even intimate relationships improve with laughter, leading to more happiness and joyful relations.
Have you had a good belly laugh lately? A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart. Laughing 100 times is the equivalent to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike.
Improves Your Breathing
Laugh more and more, because laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect – similar to deep breathing. This is especially helpful for people who are suffering from respiratory ailments, such as asthma.
Helps You Lose Weight
Laughter is a very good physical exercise too. Burning off calories by laughing might not sound as if it has much use, but a hearty chuckle raises the heart rate and speeds up the metabolism. If you’re dieting, think about adding laughter to your exercise regime. A good sitcom might easily keep you laughing for 20 minutes or more.
Protects the Heart
People who laugh a lot on a regular basis have lower blood pressure than the average person. When people have a good laugh, the blood pressure increases at first, but then it decreases to levels below normal.
Your heart is a muscle and, like any muscle in your body, it gets stronger and functions better when exercised. Regular laughter is like getting a gym membership for your heart. Laughter has been found to benefit the way blood flows around the body, reducing the likelihood of heart disease. The research said that 15 minutes of laughter a day is as important for your heart as 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.