UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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Laughter is the best medicine. Not only does a good laugh make you feel great, but it is also excellent for your health. Take a minute to chuckle to yourself as you read some of the health benefits of laughter.
Laughter has long been known to help people who are suffering from depression. Laughing causes relaxation and prevents the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which will make your heart rate slow down and your blood pressure decrease. The loss of tension, stress, anxiety and irritation can significantly reduce one’s risk for depression.
People who laugh regularly 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. 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. A significant body of evidence exists that shows laughter as a preventive mechanism against both cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It could be just as important for your heart to laugh each day as it is to get in some exercise each day.
Research has proven laughter can boost the immune system. Every time you let out a giggle you are increasing your amount of antibody-producing T cells, which attack foreign material in our bodies. It also lowers the levels of stress hormones that tend to weaken the immune system. So the more you laugh, the less tense and anxious you’ll be and the healthier you’ll stay. Now you can laugh in the face of the common cold.
Laughter has been found to reduce pain. Sure, a good laugh can distract you from aches and pains, but there is more to it than that. Genuine laughter releases endorphins in the brain which activates pain-killing and euphoria-producing effects. A good giggle fest could produce as many endorphins as morphine. The next time you are in pain, try popping in a good comedy before popping a pill.
You know that feeling you get after a good bout of side-splitting laughter? It feels like you’ve just had a great abdominal workout. And this is because you have. Hysterical laughter exercises the diaphragm, contracts your abdominal muscles and works your shoulders. Laughing 100 times is the equivalent to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike. Talk about a fun workout.
Laughter can be good for you in a number of ways. On top of being a great emotional release, laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness and increase immunity. We’d like nothing more than for you to outlive your term life insurance policy. And what better way to live longer than to laugh out loud?