7 Ways Laughing Can Change Your Life
Is Laughter Really the Best Medicine?
Laughing to Long Life
Could the Internet generation best prove the famous adage that laughter is the best medicine?
With the dot com launch of the viral video age, web sites such as YouTube and Hulu are chock full of hilarious videos that challenge you to "Watch This Without Laughing." (Chances are, you won't survive the dare.) And, as a result of tickling funny bones one video at a time, the Internet could be fostering longer life expectancy without even knowing it.
Whereas most people could tell you about the magic of laughter and how it helps us to enjoy ourselves, a good chuckle offers a bounty of healing properties and life benefits--some you wouldn't even believe.
No. 1: Laughing Boosts Immunity
Perhaps not surprising to most, laughter effects the body in a multitude of ways, from increasing oxygen intake and invigorating cells to protecting your heart by increasing blood vessel function, according to researchers. All of these effects could add years to your life.
No. 2: Cackle to Happier Days
Laughing after a hard day at the office or a stressful situation helps release endorphins, the body's feel-good chemical, and can even help break a cycle of depression by giving us a different perspective on our problems, according to Patty Wooten, author of Humor: an Antidote for Stress.
No. 3: Chuckle Your Way to Pain Relief
Remember the endorphins? This super chemical is 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine, and is released into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise.
No. 4: You Can Shed Pounds Laughing
Believe it or not, researchers have found for every hearty laugh, you burn 3.5 calories. Expose yourself to a two-hour comedy or a few hours of sitcoms a week can help add to your weight loss routine!
No. 5: A Laugh a Day Keeps the Divorce Lawyer Away
Need to save your marriage or relationship? Laughing can actually help build a buffer for when disagreements arise, says Dr. Doris G. Bazzini, of Appalachian State University. Even reminiscing about a funny time in your relationship, Bazzini says, helps us reflect on good times and define our relationships in positive terms.
No. 6: Humor and Good Grades
A study conducted by Sam Houston State University psychologist Randy Garner, PhD, concluded students are more likely to recall lecture materials when jokes were made about relevant topics.
No. 7: Laugh Your Way to the Bank
According to Margot Carmichael Lester, a contributing writer for Monster.com, helping boost humor in the workplace can help you not only keep your job, but might even help you garner a more favorable review or even promotion by adding more depth and personal character in the boss' eyes.
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