“Laughter is a key component of a happy life, and it has powerful physical and mental benefits. No matter what you’re facing, you can learn to laugh and benefit from its healing ways.”
When was the last time you laughed? Sometimes conscious conception can lead to a far too serious life.
Today’s assignment: GIGGLE!
The Benefits of Laughter
By, Madeline Vann, MPH
The benefits of a good laugh are wide-ranging and can include protection from emotional issues like depression and improving the health of your heart. Here’s what experts know about the health benefits of laughter:
- Mental health benefits. Although you probably can’t laugh off depression, one of the many benefits of laughter and a sense of humor is that they buffer you against the negatives of life that could lead to depression. As an added bonus, studies show that people who use humor to fight stress also feel less lonely and more positive about themselves.
- Physical benefits. Although we can’t yet say that a certain number of laughs every day will keep the doctor away, studies show that people who say they laugh a lot also tend to be in good health and generally feel well. Laughter is also one of the most commonly used complementary therapies among cancer patients, who find that one of the benefits of laughter is an improved quality of life.
- Heart health benefits. Laughter could be healthy for your heart, too. Some research shows that when you laugh, there is an increase in oxygen-rich blood flow in your body, possibly due to the release of endorphins, which create a chemical rush that counters negative feelings and stress. Activities that increase endorphins include a good workout and listening to music you love, and laughter deserves its place on the list with these other stress busters.
Building Laughter Into Your Life
Loving the benefits of laughter but don’t feel like laughing? Sometimes you have to make a conscious effort to laugh. If you’re facing tough times such as a tight budget, work stress, or an illness like cancer, it may help to learn techniques to bring the benefits of laughter into your life. You can try the old stand-by recommendations:
- Rent a funny movie, read a funny book, or watch a funny sitcom.
- Spend time with an amusing buddy.
- Look on the light side: Go places that help you remember good times that have made you laugh in the past.