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Health and Fitness News

Laugh More

Seven reasons you need to laugh more.

You know it feels good, but did you know that laughing is good for your soul? Mentally, emotionally, and physically, laughing does your mind and body good. Have you ever had days or weeks go by when realize it’s been a long time since you had a really good laugh? When work is stressful, relationships are difficult, and your social life is practically non-existent, it’s easy to go a while between hardy laughs.

If you can’t remember the last time you doubled over in laughter, it’s time to foster friendships that bring you joy, watch movies that make you laugh, read the newspaper comics, or readjust your attitude to see the good in life. Why?

Because as the old phrase goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Here’s how it helps bring healing.

Laughter Boosts Your Immune Response

When you’re stressed and your mind is filled with negative thoughts, your immune response may be delayed. But laughing and positive thoughts cause your infection-fighting antibodies and other immune cells to get to work fighting off foreign invaders that cause disease. So smile, and you’ll get the last laugh against infection.

Laughter Relieves Stress Response

The fight or flight stress response triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic exposure to these hormones can lead to muscle tension, headaches, stomachaches, increased heart rate, insomnia, and fatigue. Laughing combats this in a strange way. It briefly stimulates the stress response and increases blood pressure, but then relieves stress and lowers blood pressure to make you feel relaxed.

Laughter Nourishes Organs

In a way similar to exercise, laughing causes you to breathe in more oxygen. When you use your muscles to laugh and your heart rate and blood pressure go up, this increases your inhalation of oxygen-rich air. Why does this matter? Because all that oxygen-rich air stimulates and nourishes your lungs, heart, brain, and muscles.

Laugher Relieves Pain

People who deal with chronic pain may find some much-needed relief with laughter. Since laughter triggers the release of endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals), it helps relieve pain. Endorphins increase your pain threshold so you naturally feel less pain than before. Activities like exercise and massage also tell your brain to produce more endorphins. So if you work out, get a massage, and then laugh it up every day, you may never feel pain again!

Laughter Improves Mood

Depression and anxiety are leading mental health disorders. Redirecting your brain to think about something humorous can be an effective way of relieving depression and anxiety. Laughing causes your mind to be distracted from your problems, causing life to seem a little less bleak and making your bad mood a thing of the past.

Laughter Burns Calories

While you would have to laugh for a long time to see much of a difference, a good round of laughter does burn calories. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes burns an average of 50 calories, but it won’t get rid of your love handles.

Laughter Improves Quality of Life

According to research, loneliness is a leading cause of death. Without other people to share life with, health and quality of life decline. While you can laugh at something funny all by yourself, you’re 30 times more likely to laugh at something funny when you’re around other people. So it may not just be laughing that’s so good for you. It may be that laughing in the company of friends and family provides the sense of connection and improved quality of life everyone desires.