Some say that laughter is the best medicine.
But is it true?
It’s fun to laugh. It feels good, and it’s often seen as a sign of happiness.
But are there actually any medical or health benefits to it?
As it turns out, laughing does provide some health benefits.
In fact, there are short term and long term benefits to laughing.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Short Term Benefits Of Laughing
When you laugh, your body starts to dissipate your stress response.
It also increases your heart rate, stimulates your organs, helps you to breathe in more oxygen-rich air, increases endorphins, stimulates circulation, and aids in muscle relaxation.
The Long Term Effects Of Laughing
If you are the kind of person who tends to laugh on a regular basis, you may enjoy a few positive health benefits that’ll continue to help you in the long-term.
First off, being a ‘regular laugher’ may actually improve your immune system.
When you maintain a negative mindset, it actually produces a physical response in the body. It releases stress chemicals that decrease your body’s natural immunity.
But when you laugh, you tend to spread positive, helpful hormones throughout your body instead. You also release neuropeptides. These are basically signaling molecules in the brain, and they act as neurotransmitters.
When you release neuropeptides through laughter, you basically help your body to fight stress and increase your long-term capacity to protect yourself from serious illnesses.
Other long term positive effects of laughter include:
- Pain relief (when you laugh, your body releases natural painkillers)
- Overall increased happiness with life
- Mood improvement (not surprisingly, people who laugh regularly tend to feel happier than those who don’t)
Is Laughter Worth Seeking Out On Purpose?
Ok, so laughter is good for you.
But what if your life doesn’t tend to be very funny?
Is laughter worth chasing, to experience the positive benefits?
Well, here’s what you should know.
Laughter is something that’s going to happen naturally for humans in some situations.
But if your life tends to be filled with more stress and less joy, you may struggle to laugh enough.
In such cases, it may be worth it to seek out a bit of laughter, to make your life more joyful and to cut down on your stress levels.
Bring more laughter into your life by:
- Watching funny movies
- Spending time with friends and loved ones
- Visiting comedy shows
- Reading funny books
- Telling jokes and making other people laugh
It’s also true that learning to laugh a little bit about the stressful situations in your life can really help to take a load off of your shoulders.
When we take things too seriously, we can run the dangerous risk of missing out on the wealth of positivity and fun that this world has to offer.
In the words of Marcus Aurelius himself…
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
So get out there and make your life the happiest (and healthiest) that it can possibly be!