You might have heard the phrase laughing is the best form of medicine. And while this may just seem like a cliche, the truth is that laughing has many incredible health benefits. Whether you are laughing all night long with your best friend or just having a good chuckle at your favorite sitcom, laughing can help you feel better and live a longer life. And if you want to learn about some of the specifics, keep reading for the top benefits of laughing!
Why Do Humans Laugh?
Humans laugh for a variety of reasons, from amusement to appreciation. People are the only species on Earth that does this, which is likely reflective of the capacity for complex thought and understanding abstract concepts. Studies suggest that laughter can be a physical expression of relief or happiness, often serving as a communication tool between humans when words fail or acknowledging joyous experiences we share together.
On an individual note, many people use laughing to self-soothe or work through difficult emotions. The connection through laughter not only lightens the atmosphere in tough situations but can also bring you closer together and help you experience lasting bonds with others.
Top Benefits Of Laughing
So how exactly does laughter benefit your health and well-being? Aside from making you feel good and helping you connect with others, here are some of the top benefits of laughing:
Laughter can be more than just a good pastime; in fact, it has the power to reduce physical pain! Studies have shown that when a person laughs, their body releases endorphins which are powerful natural painkillers. These endorphins work the same way as many prescription medications, without any dangerous side effects.
Not only do these hormones help relieve minor pain associated with everyday aches and pains, but they can even help treat chronic diseases like arthritis and fibromyalgia. So if you are suffering from pain, consider getting your laugh on!
Laughing can have overwhelmingly positive results on the mental health of individuals who use it as part of their coping mechanisms. A good belly laugh can provide a release from depression, anxiety, and stress that can be far more effective than any therapy session. Science backs this up: studies have found that laughing increases serotonin levels – the hormone responsible for your sense of well-being – in the brain, resulting in a natural boost in mood.
Also, laughter helps you detach from past experiences or conditions that can trigger depressive thoughts or feelings. Taking the time to laugh is an easy way to gain perspective on problematic situations and develop personal resilience toward experiencing fewer episodes of depression.
Laughing has long had immense mental health benefits, but it is a lesser-known fact that laughter can also bolster your immune system. Studies show that strong feelings of mirth and joy suppress levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, which results in elevated immunoglobulin A (IgA), the secretory type of antibody created by the circulatory system helps keep infection at bay. The protective benefits of laughter don’t end there; laughing reduces inflammation and may increase the number of natural killer cells that patrol for foreign invaders.
In addition, physiological changes due to laughter set off a cascade of biological events that provide long-term health boosts, such as tension release in parts of your brain associated with high blood pressure and improved mood – both factors linked to better overall well-being. Put simply, if you can find a way to bring more humor into your life, you will be doing yourself a world of good.
While it may seem simple, laughing can be incredibly beneficial for your respiratory system. The act of laughing is a form of exercise as it requires you to take short, frequent breaths fast. This exercise helps to remove impurities from the air and create stronger lung capacity by promoting healthy breathing habits. Also, laughing can improve vital blood flow and circulation throughout the body, ensuring that your lungs receive all the oxygen they need to function correctly.
Even better, laughing also has additional physical benefits, like lowering stress levels and promoting relaxation to keep the important muscles around your ribcage and diaphragm loose and relaxed. So next time you feel under the weather or struggle to breathe, don’t forget that a raw laugh may relieve you.
Aid Heart Health
While it is commonly assumed that exercising and eating a healthy diet are the only ways to maintain heart health, research suggests otherwise. Studies suggest that laughing can also be an effective aid for heart health. Not only does laughing positively affect mood, but it also has physical benefits. When people laugh, their blood vessels dilate, which leads to improved blood circulation.
This better blood flow encourages oxygenation of blood which in turn helps reduce plaque buildup along artery walls, resulting in lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels—all of which equates to a stronger and healthier heart. So the next time you feel down, grab a friend and share a good laugh; your heart will thank you for it!
Improve Core Strength
For those looking to improve their core strength, laughing may help. The abdominal muscles contract when we laugh, which helps strengthen and tone the core over time. Whether in a yoga class or lifting weights at the gym, incorporating laughter into your exercise routine can be beneficial for strengthening the core and improving posture.
Additionally, laughing also works to loosen up the muscles in and around your midsection, resulting in better posture and an overall improved appearance.
So if you’re looking for a low-impact way to improve your core strength, why not try incorporating more laughter into your life? You might find that a good laugh is all you need to improve your fitness!
The final benefit worth mentioning when it comes to the benefits of laughter is its potential for longevity. Research has shown that people who laugh more tend to live longer, healthier lives, partly due to laughing’s ability to improve heart health, promote relaxation, and reduce stress levels over time.
But it could also be due to other benefits of laughter, like lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels, better moods and mental clarity, a stronger immune system, and improved breathing. Either way, it seems clear that laughter is something to be treasured!
Start Enjoying The Benefits Of Laughing!
So if you’re looking for a way to improve your overall health and well-being and perhaps add a few years onto your life, look no further than laughter! With so many health benefits, it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to laugh more. So instead of trying to be serious all the time, take a second to enjoy the benefits of laughing. Whether with your kids, a friend, or even a stranger on the street, there are countless opportunities to let loose, relax, and have some fun.