Laughing And Health

Laughing And Health - Laughter Is The Best Medicine.
Laughing And Health - Laughter Is The Best Medicine. | Source

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Following my family’s success with the power of gratitude, my husband, who is always on the lookout for interesting but quirky things to do, discovered the link between laughing and health and decided to set us all on a daily regimen of laughter.

I always thought that we laughed quite a lot as we are a very happy family, however, after my zealous husband measured the total amount of time we spend laughing daily (don’t ask how he did this), he determine that we only laugh an average of about 5 minutes of total laughter a day.

The diagnosis was bad. My husband promptly set us on a training regimen to develop our “laughter muscles”, which I found out the next day were actually real muscles as my abdominal muscles, which can take quite a few sets of crunches, were sore.

The best things in life are free, and so is the best medicine: LAUGHTER. Laughing and health have been intertwined since nature devised this perfect and natural happy drug. Drug I say because of the release of endorphins which gives us that “feel good factor”.

Laughter is exactly like natures own happy pill.

Laughing has become serious research business and numerous studies have been conducted that prove the health, emotional and relationship benefits of laughter.

Sadly, most studies also find that we laugh a lot less now than we did in the past or a lot less than we should, to maintain our mental and physical wellbeing.

Have You Had A Good Laugh Today? If Not This Video Is Just What You Need

The Benefits of Laughter For Your Health

Let us look at all the benefits of laughter. Here’s the good news:

Laughing Protects Against Heart Attacks

In astudy by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore it was found that sufferers of heart disease generally laughed less than the healthy control group. In total about 40% less.

The reasons for the heart protecting benefits are unknown but it was recently discovered that laughter causes the endothelium (the inner lining of the blood vessels) to relax and dilate, thus making your heart work less hard.

Laughing For Stress Relief

Stress is a major factor in all major chronic conditions, causing some and exacerbating others, and since laughter is ranked as one of the top stress relievers, along with meditation and sex, it becomes the perfect remedy for stress.

Laughter will increase blood flow by 22%, but under stress blood flow will decrease by 35%.

Dr Lee Berk and his research team at Linda Loma University in California found that Beta-endorphin levels increase by 27% and Human Growth Hormone levels increase by 87% when people anticipated watching something humorous. There was also a reduction in the stress hormones - Cortisol by 39%, Ephinephrine by 70% and Dopac by 38% and these benefits carried on long after the laughing stopped.

Exercise your laughter muscles today.
Exercise your laughter muscles today. | Source

The Physical Benefits Of Laughing

Laughter acts like a physical release and you can feel both cleansed and relaxed after a good belly laugh. It tones muscles and improves respiration and circulation. It acts as aerobic exercise for your insides and is a lot like an internal workout. The diaphragm, thorax, lungs and even the liver are given a massage during a good laugh. It contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving your muscles more relaxed for up to 45 minutes afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.

I don’t know about you, but this is definitely MY kind of workout!

Laughter Strengthens The Immune System

Negativity is known to affect the immune system adversely and laughter can go a long way to remedy this. Laughter is one of the best antidotes for both physical and mental illness.

Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, in this way improving your resistance to disease and illness.

Diabetes And Heart Attack Risk

When the above-mentioned Dr Lee Berk took 20 high-risk diabetes patients and gave half of them heavy doses of laughter, he found that the inflammation that caused their diabetes related heart condition and constricted arteries was reduced considerably.

Laughter Improves Relationships

Statistically people who laugh together have better relationships. We all feel this instinctively and people who share laughter will have a closer bond. This bodes well for improving all your relationships.

So cuddle up with your husband, wife, your child your or best friend and share a good hearty laugh.

That was the good news, now here is the great news!

Everybody loves to laugh; from babies to old people and everyone in-between.
Everybody loves to laugh; from babies to old people and everyone in-between. | Source

Laughter Is Universal

Laughter is universal. Everybody laughs (or can laugh at least) and it all sounds the same. It doesn’t matter if you are American, Chinese or Mongolian, everybody laughs the same and everybody understands laughter.

Primates, dogs and rats laugh too. Deaf people laugh without hearing and people speaking on mobile phones laugh without seeing. Babies laugh long before they speak. And no one teaches you how to laugh, you just do.

It Is Free

Laughter costs you nothing and you can do it at any time. It can be spontaneous or contagious and it doesn’t matter if you are laughing for real or faking it, the health benefits remain the same.

What is great is that we all have it in equal measure and availability.

You Don’t Even Have To Try Too Hard

Faking laughter, smiling, anticipating laughter or even just getting your face ready to laugh still gives you all of the above health benefits, but a full hearty belly laugh will go a long way to keep the doctor away.

Fake It Till You Make It

You get the same benefit from laughter whether the laughter is genuine or affected. The body and brain cannot distinguish between the real thing and the fake. Besides, fake laughter soon leads to the real thing.

As neuroscientist, Jodi Deluca, Ph.D., of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University says, "It doesn't matter why you laugh. Even in small doses, it improves our overall quality of life."

How Often Do You Laugh?

See results without voting

How To Laugh (Especially When You Don’t Feel Like It)

Let’s face it. When you need to laugh it is usually not when you feel like laughing. If you are ill, stressed or tired, you definitely do not feel like laughing.

Laughter, like optimism, can be learned and practiced. There are some interesting ways to accomplish this. It is always best not to rely on external sources of amusement and through practice you can learn to generate laughter without an external trigger.

Don’t get me wrong, it is great to laugh during a funny movie, but it wont be available when you’re stuck in traffic. It is therefore important to be able to generate laughter spontaneously.

Next time you need a good laugh, think of a time that you couldn’t stop laughing. Really focus on it until you get the giggles and just take it from there.

Or…

Laughter Yoga

As funny as it sounds, most of us have to learn to laugh. If you want to get the most out of laughter you should give Laughter Yoga, created by Dr Mada Kataria a try.

Laughter Yoga is very structured and organised and it introduces different warm-up, breathing exercises and different ways to literally bring the laughter out of you.

If you’re curious take a look at the Laughter Yoga demonstration in the video below:

The Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Life can be difficult and we can get burdened down with so much stress. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have the best medicine built into us? So next time you feel stressed, angry, tired or sad just take a deep breath and… LAUGH! And if you need some help just watch the Laurel & Hardy video in this article again. Here's to your health!

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Comments 49 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I was laughing at the laughter yoga! Too funny! Okay, how did your husband measure the amount of laughter in your household? I have to know!

Great hub and a pretty darn important message. Well done Trinity!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hello billybuc my friend! My husband walked around with a notepad and a stopwatch all day (please note my rolling eyeballs). I agree though, the world definitely needs more laughter. Thank you for stopping by and giving me your customary virtual ‘hug’.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I have heard of groups that meet just to laugh :) I do enjoy a good laugh and really think more people need to get on your positive bandwagon Trinity! I vote up and will share too.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Laughter is a wonderful thing, as is this hub!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Christy! Yes I agree, we all really need to laugh more. Maybe we should start our own Hubbers Laughing Club?? :) Thank you for reading and sharing, always greatly appreciated.

Dexter I appreciate your feedback. Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for a wonderful hub. You are so right about laughter. Once when my husband and I hadn't had a good laugh in a long time something set us off and we laughed long and hard just looking at each other and we never felt better. Passing this on.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Laughter is great and it really does make you feel better. I have read the comics since I was a small child, and every morning starts with a laugh when I read Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, Stone Soup or good old relaible Dagwood & Blondie. OK, I guess that I am easily entertained, but I get a kick out the soundtracr to musical "Book of Mormon" and Avenue Q too.

UP, funny, awesome!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi xstatic! Glad to meet a fellow “laugh-a-holic” ( Dagwood & Blondie is the best!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for voting up, I really appreciate it :)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Gypsy Rose Lee, isn’t wonderful how infectious laughter can be? My husband and I set each other off regularly; nice to hear you and your husband do the same :) Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments, always appreciated.


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Superb hub...shared right away. Voted thereafter.

The video was super funny. And you've covered topic really well.

Laughter is really the 'best medicine'...keep it up. Great hub.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi ashish04joshi so nice of you to drop by. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I always like to share a good laugh with my friends. Thank you for sharing and voting up, always appreciated. :)


snowdrops profile image

snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

Trinity,,,your hub is amazing..always reminding us to laugh.. thanks again!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi snowdrops, thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. Always appreciated.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Super advice on the benefits of laughing. I had a stoic person lash out at me once saying I thought everything was a joke. My quick retort to her was, "I would rather laugh than cry." She left the room in a huff. My wife tells everyone the secret to our happy marriage is the fact I have her waking up laughing each day and going to bed smiling every night. To me, it doesn't get much better than that.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

@pagesvoice I fully agree with you! I’d rather laugh than sit and wallow in misery. I am also blessed to have a husband like you who makes me laugh all the time and keeps me smiling , and again you are 100% right, it doesn’t get better than that. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments.


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

Well, I don't laugh every day, but the video sure made me laugh! Here's to your health, too LOL


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Glad to be of service @vox vocis, nothing like a good laugh to clear the arteries and put a shine on your day! Thank you for stopping by and for your comment, it is greatly appreciated. And to your health too :)))


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

A hub about laughter is a great idea. Your husband sounds terrific. I enjoyed your hub very much and will try to laugh more often! Awesome hub.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Pamela99! Thank you so much for your kind comments, and yes my husband is amazing if I do say so myself. I’m glad you enjoyed the hub and am thrilled to hear that you will be laughing more. :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Your husband conducted an interesting study! Scientific research at it's best. Laughing sends a rush of endorphins that definitely help us feel better! Therefore, I vote this very useful!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Rebecca! You are so right! Nothing gives those endorphins a good shake up than a good laugh. Thank you so much for stopping by, voting up and for your great comment. Keep laughing! :)


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Laughing is the best medicine a natural feel in your soul


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Laughter is indeed the best medicine DDE; and the best thing about it is that it is FREE! Thank you for stopping by and remember… keep laughing! :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I love to laugh daily. Most of the time I'm laughing at myself and the latest faux pas I made, but that's healthy laughing! :)

Awesome hub Trinity and a great reminder to laugh until you can't anymore, then laugh some more! I swear by that :)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Sunshine! So nice to see you! Your humour is truly one of the reasons I like you so much and follow your hubs. You are so right about laughing until you cannot laugh anymore and then laughing some more! I couldn’t have said it better myself! :) Thank you so much for stopping by my friend and for your comments, always appreciated. And keep those belly laughs coming!!! :)))))


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

Great article. I firmly believe in the benefits of laughter, both physical and emotional. Thanks for the fun videos.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi RedElf, you are so right! Laughter not only gives us a mental boost it also cures all our ailments as well. The videos were my pleasure. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments, it is greatly appreciated.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

Very uplifting! I laugh a lot, both at work and at home although it's not always at appropriate times :D

Voted up etc.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Judi! I know what you mean about laughing at inappropriate times; my husband has a bad habit of making jokes at funerals!! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments / vote, much appreciated.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi TM, couldn't agree with you more. You'll have to stop by the Belly Laugh Gym and increase your laughter benefits while reducing your waistline. I enjoyed your very informational article and am behind you 100% in your crusade to end orphans. The more we adopt the better I say. Also that kind of freaks me out about rats smiling. Now I'm going to be awake in the dark with images of smiling rodents perhaps out there.

Ok I'm just messin' with you. Thanks for following. =:)


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Winsome! Ok thanks for the comment… I got my daily laughter dose right here from you! I’m with you all the way about the end orphans crusade… ROTFL! And just to clarify… those rats aren’t smiling at us, they’re LAUGHING at us!!! You think they know something we don’t???

Thanks for stopping by and for the great comment :)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

I loved the John Cleese video - if they had a session like that in my home town, I would definitely go. What a great way to start your day!

Very interesting hub, really enjoyed it :o)


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Excellent hub....the power of laughter can not be denied. Very cool that you have put all of these items together....a fun hub to read and view...voted up interesting and funny.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Laughter is my main staple of the day. I mostly laugh at myself:)

Very good hub with important reasons to laugh. Your husband is great! Voted up and across!


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Trinity,

Such a fun and awesome hub! That is so cool that you guys "measured" laughter in your household! :)

I love laughter and wholeheartedly agree with every point you have raised here! Thanks for sharing Trinity!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Laughter is great medicine. I love your funny video post and it gave me a good trip down memory lane. I love humor and try to keep an upbeat attitude daily. Great post!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Jools99 I’m with you! The laughter yoga really looks whacky but I think the health benefits far outweigh the unusualness of it all. I would definitely do it too if it was available in my home town, but barring that the DVD is almost as good, maybe you should give it a try? :) Thank you so much for your great comment and for your support, I really appreciate it. Keep laughing! :)

Hi Cogerson! Thanks for dropping by and reading my hub. I’m so glad you enjoyed it; it was one of my favourite hubs to write. Thank you for your support, it is always appreciated. :)

Hi vocalcoach, nice to see you! I always love to hear of a kindred spirit… I love to laugh and you’re quite right, mostly at myself. I’m so glad you stopped by and thank your for your support, and thank you, I do adore my husband! :)

Hi Josh! You have always struck me as quite a funny guy so I can imagine that you laugh quite a lot daily… especially with all the antics you and your twin must get up to! Thank you for stopping by and for your support, I really appreciate it. And remember… keep laughing! :)

Hello teaches12345. I did enjoy putting the hub together and especially finding the right video to go with it. I found that the Laurel and Hardy video was so fitting. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I’m glad to hear that you keep an upbeat attitude; laughter is the fountain of youth. Thank you for your comment and for your support, I really appreciate it. :)


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Trinity

Laughter is good for the mind, body and soul. Laughing at the Laurel Hardy video. It brings back happy memories.

Voted up up and away!

Take care :


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

this is just too good. I am so glad Sueswan shared this on facebook. Laughter is thebest medicine.. You have a great husband to measure your laughter.. trying to figure out he did that.. ..lol have you read TToombs hubs? Now you will really laugh.. I will send her this link and I will share too.

hugs from tennessee

Debbie


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Great hub and thanks for pointing out the health benefits associated with laughing. That animals too laugh is a revelation to me, Trinity.

Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.


coffeegginmyrice profile image

coffeegginmyrice 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

OMG, this hub is giving me the laughter with which I really need. Just perfect timing during my gloomy evening. Will spread the laughter more. Sharing this hub! Great one! Voted interesting, beautiful and funny! :)


Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago

What an interesting topic and so true of all the points...thanks for sharing with us your great hub, appreciate your sincere and well done job Trinity M, be blessed...cheers!


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

laughter is best medicine and this is 100% right. You are also right in saying that even fake laughter has same benefits as real laughter. In New delhi in every park there are countless people who come in morning in groups. Do their yoga and then in end has a laughing session. They laugh as loud as possible for few minutes and they all would tell you how many benefits they got by doing so.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hello Sueswan, so nice to see you! I absolutely loved the Laurel and Hardy video too! It made me laugh so much I had tears in my eyes :)

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your wonderful comment and support. Have a wonderful day and keep the laughter rolling!

Hello Debbie, thank you so much for dropping by. If you can imagine a man walking around all day with a stopwatch and a notebook you can imagine what it was like with my husband trying to measure our laughter quotas! LOL!

I have indeed read TToombs and I love her work she is truly a great and funny writer. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and for sharing, I really appreciate it! Have a wonderful day and keep on laughing :)

Hello rajan nice to see you. Yes it’s true about the animals and I found that quite amazing too! Thank you so much for stopping by, for your comments and for sharing, as always I really appreciate it. Enjoy your day. :)

I’m so glad I got to cheer you up coffeegginmyrice! There is nothing more rewarding than sharing the laughter and I’m glad I got to share a bit of it with you. :) Thank you so much for your great comment and for all the votes and shares, I really appreciate it. All the best to you and keep laughing!

Hello Injured lamb, I’m delighted that you found my hub interesting, I love to share the laughter whenever I can. :) Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments and wonderful blessings. Have a great day and keep laughing!


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi sweetie1, thank you so much for your very interesting comment. I have heard of many people who do exactly as you describe. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting I truly appreciate it. Have a lovely day :)


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Laughter is the ONLY way to go, well, unless I have to cry, but then I get to laugh again so it's all good! A great hub, Trinity, and words to live by. :) Voted up and sharing.


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

Hi Terry! I know that laughter is definitely part of your daily ‘medicine’ and one of the reasons I love reading your hubs… just so that I can get MY daily dose too! :) Thanks for stopping by and for the support and keep those laughs coming!


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A laugh keeps you fit and feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside too


Trinity M profile image

Trinity M 4 years ago Author

DDE you are 100% right! I have read about a Russian doctor who uses laughter therapy to improve people’s eyesight, and it really works too! Thanks again for stopping by and for your support. Keep laughing :)

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