- Quality of Life & Wellness
7 Reasons to Laugh more and Lighten up: Why Laughter is a Good Medicine
Laughter is a good medicine
- Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter
Learn how to harness the powerful health benefits of laughter and humor.
Science backs up laughter as a good medicine
The Benefits of Laughter:
1. Laughter decreases stress hormones
2. Increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies
3. Improves resistance to disease
4. Triggers endorphins, which are feel good chemicals
5. Promotes a sense of well-being
6. Can temporarily relieve pain
7. You can research the other many benefits of laughter yourself. There is just not enough room in this article to describe it. Besides, I had to add a number 7 because I don't like leaving any list with the number 6.
Laughter is contagious. It is viral, spreading like wild fire to the extent no hose can quench its flame.
Did you know that children laugh more than adults? Try over two hundred times more! On an average, most adults just laugh around twenty times a day. We really suck, don't we?
We adults just don't get it. Most adults walk around disillusioned with their lives and a sour look on their faces as if they had sucked on rotten pickles and sour prunes for breakfast; meandering around defeated.
We wonder where in the world our children get their energy and how we can bottle it up and sell it to become millionaires. I am here to tell you that children are great examples for us "bah humbug" adults to follow. Children naturally have joy and zest for life. Their laughter eases anxieties and fears. In other words, they fear nothing and the skies the limit in their little worlds.
Laughter attracts people. It teaches teamwork and promotes group bonding.
Gelotology is the study of humor and laughter and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body. For good reasons too because laughter is shown to have beneficial effects on other various biochemistry. It reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. It releases endorphins that can relieve physical pain. (Laughing too hard can cause soreness in your tummy, but that is a good pain.) Come on, feel the burn!
Laughing too hard makes you feel like a flight stewardess or hostess where your face is stuck permanently in that position. Your jaws aching for a break; so you laugh so hard, dealing with the pain and yet, your face is stuck. That is why you see people laughing so hard their mouth no longer moves. It is numb at that point.
Laughter can boost the number of antibody producing cells, enhancing the effectiveness of T-cells, leading to a stronger immune system. It also causes the dilation of the inner lining of blood vessels, (the endothelium), increasing blood flow. Have you ever laughed so hard your face gets stuck and your head feels like its gonna pop off? Try it. Apparently it is healthy for you!
Neurophysiology indicates that laughter is linked with the activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that produces endorphins. In other words, scientists have shown that parts of the limbic system are involved in laughter, which is involved in emotions and helps us with functions necessary for humans survival.
Laughter provokes laughter from other people, resulting in positive feedback. There is a link between laughter and healthy functions of blood vessels.
Raising children is a great example:
As a mother, I could be in the worst mood ever. You know, that mood of: "Give me a cotten picken break!" "Settle down!" "If I have to tell you one more time!" And there is the ever so famous: "Don't make me tell your father!" At that point in the game, you know there is nothing you can do and getting the father is the last resort because you have exhausted all of your efforts and your kids know it isn't working. In other words, your children have your number. They won the battle of the wills and you are now give out.
At that point in the game, usually, one of my kids start laughing. They know they have won. They go into an idle stupor of laughing so hard the other child then joins in. What can I then say? At that time, at least they are too busy laughing and actually standing or sitting still. Even if it is just for one minute. What happens next? Oh what the heck, I might as well join in with their laughter. I can't help it. Laughter is contagious, especially when it comes from a child that is just being who God made them to be.
I was taking my kids to the store one day, noticing the people around me in their cars would smile and wave as they passed me by. "Who are these people and why are they smiling at me?" I proceeded to look at my hair, my teeth and gawk at the outside of my car, what part I could see to make sure nothing was going on. As I looked in my rear view mirror, my eyes widened. My two goofy "young" children had found birthday hats in the back of the car. They had put one on each side of their head, looked like horns; and my son had one on his nose.
Laughter naturally enhances resilience. It boosts our immunity by lowering stress hormones. Don't you feel better when you laugh? The world seems happier. There is joy in your life. Your life hopes and ambitions come into a new light, giving you a deeper perseverance in your daily living. Laughter relaxes muscles.
Laughter puts you in a better mood and attracts other people to you.
Humor is proven to lighten burdens. It helps to keep you focused and alert. It enhances relationships, supporting physical and emotional health. It triggers healthy changes in the body, which combats stress, pain and conflict.
Let's face it; we need to lighten up. Life is too short, it gets too hard at times and it is full of disappointments, heartache and pain.
Laughter is one way to bring joy back in our lives. If you are surrounded by circumstances that keep you from having joy, then it is time for a change. Re-evaluate your life's intentions and prioritize your hopes and dreams.
There is always hope in laughter and strength in being humorous and Scientific evidence proves it!