Is Laughter The Best Medicine?
Laughter is one of the best feelings. Laughing helps to create connections, and lighten the mood of a room.
Laughter is often said to be the best medicine, but what health benefits does laughter actually have?
- It lowers blood pressure. Laughter allows blood vessels to dilate and and increases the amount of oxygen that enters circulation due to deeper breathing. The deeper the laugh, the better.
- Triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals naturally produced by the brain that trigger a “feel good” response. Things like exercise, music, and even scents also trigger endorphins. The release of endorphins caused by laughing gives the body a happy sense of well-being, which is why laughing can help with bonding.
- Reduces Stress. Laughing can relieve physical tension and reduce stress hormones, like coritsol, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Works your abdominal muscles. When laughing the muscles in your stomach expand and contract. The expanding and contracting of your abdomen muscles is similar to when you exercise. The harder you laugh the more the muscles are worked.
- Increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Laughter helps to contract the diaphragm that creates a strong pressure within the thoracic duct, which increases the flow of lymphatic fluid. Meaning more lymph is passing through lymph nodes, which boosts immunities.
How can you bring more laughter into your life? Get together with a group of friends, watch a silly movie or video, or see a comedy show.
Go out and find the funny. After all laughter is not only the best medicine, but it is also contagious.
Photo Credit: Marc Kjerland