Laughter is a bodily expression displaying happiness of the soul. It is said that laughter is the best medicine and rightfully so. With many scientific studies showing the positive impact of laughing on the human physiology, we all need to incorporate laughing more into our lives.
The benefits of laughter can be immense in dealing with sickness, the pressures of everyday life and coping with stress at work. Laughter can greatly improve the quality of life for all who choose to laugh. Read on for 20 benefits of laughing.
1. Helps to reduce stress
Laughter cuts down the levels of adrenaline, cortisol, dopamine, epinephrine and growth hormones, and increases the level of endorphins and neurotransmitters – the healthy hormones.
2. Helps eliminate distress
When the mind is distressed, it becomes hard to think clearly, positive thoughts. Laughing builds more confidence, improves behavior and helps leadership abilities and boasts a confident image.
3. Works out the muscles and organs
Laughter exercises a number of organs by boosting oxygen absorption, that helps your heart, lungs, and muscles. It raises the level of endorphins released by our brain. Having a good laugh tightens the abdominal muscles and exercises the diaphragm and shoulders. It even helps the heart workout.
4. Weight loss
Laughter burns calories stored within body fat and you can burn as much as 40 calories by laughing for 15 minutes. So laugh hard until you feel it in your abs!
5. A positive mind
Laughter helps to focus on positivity. It helps in creating and maintaining a cheerful outlook on life. It diverts the attention away from a negative feeling of anger, guilt, stress, and worry.
6. Laughter connects
Laughter is infectious. Laughing more increases the chances of making those around you laugh more too. By lifting the mood of those near you, you also help to minimize their stress levels and it can also help improve the quality of the social connections you experience with people!
Laughing creates a “halo effect” because it lets us remember other happy events, feel more positive, ultimately leading to more motivation.
7. Builds immunity
Laughter helps to strengthen the immune system. People who laugh more tend to be healthier than those who do not. Laughter also raises a number of cells that produce antibodies and helps the efficiency of T-cells (the fighter cells). The implication of this is a stronger, more robust immune system, and a less physical impact of stress.
Research has shown that there exists a link between laughter, a positive attitude, and good health.
In a research published by the Archives of General Psychiatry of 65-85 year-olds, those who laughed more and were most optimistic were 55% less prone to dying from all the causes than those who were the most pessimistic. When researchers adjusted the results for age, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity and other measures of health, the optimists were a whopping 71% less likely to die than the pessimists.
9. Laughter is free!
Yes, it costs nothing to laugh but the dividends are immense and highly contagious.
10. Laughter is an enjoyable medicine
No one likes the taste of drugs but there is one that we all enjoy – Laughter.
11. Conserves energy
Laughter creates a positive mood and atmosphere. It eases out anxiety, doubts, and fear. Distress is the number one enemy of a healthy body. Laughter dissolves emotions of distress resulting in conservation of mental and physical energy. You focus and achieve more physically and mentally.
12. It’s enjoyable
Regardless of our differences, laughter is something we have in common. It just makes us all feel good – old or young, rich or poor, weak or strong, healthy or not, male or female, good or bad, we all enjoy laughing.
13. Laughter works like this
When you are exposed to something funny, within half of a second, electrical waves move through the Brain’s cerebral cortex. While the left hemisphere of the brain analyzes the words and structures of a joke; the right hemisphere simultaneously gets it most of the time. Images are created by the visual sensory region of the occipital lobe; the emotional or limbic system makes one happier, and the motor sections make us laugh.
14. Raises mental alertness, creativity, and memory
Stanford University’s humor guru, William Fry, M.D., says humor and creativity compliments each other, thus by creating relationships between two separate things, all of the brain is engaged.
15. Eases life’s burdens
Life is a journey of ups and downs. We face challenges on a daily basis, but laughter helps to water down these problems. It also helps to express feelings of happiness and relaxes us when the emotions have been released.
16. Forms strong family bonds
Couples that laugh together stay together. They forgive easily and interact better. This has a spillover effect on the children who learn mostly by observing their parents. Parent-children bonds are also strengthened. This leads to the formation of a healthy and strong family. Making conscious efforts to create an atmosphere of playfulness, humor and laughter in a family will improve the love life between couples and bring parents closer to their children.
17. Facilitates blood flow
Laughter helps to circulate blood flow in the body. It stretches our muscles and blood vessels and thus makes blood flow smoother throughout the body.
18. Great for team building
Organizations, where the atmosphere includes laughing, helps the structure from the CEO to the newest intern. It creates a feeling of security when you laugh with your superiors every once in a while. It also helps to realize that a tense situation is just temporary and hard feelings won’t last when you can laugh together even when you disagree.
19. Benefits social behavior
Laughter strengthens every kind of relationship, it makes us more attractive, neutralizes conflict and has a positive impact on group bonding and teamwork
20. Benefits the body
Laughter initiates healthy physical responses within the body. Anytime we laugh, endorphins – the good feeling hormones, are released. Endorphins help general well-being and are also temporary pain relievers.