Laughter & your health

When was the last time you really laughed? I mean the kind of laughter that brings water out of your eyes. Are you aware that laughter has tremendous benefits for your overall health?  Laughter is said to be a strong medicine as laughter and health are closely connected. Laughter not only benefit you physically, it also produce tremendous physiological, mental, emotional and social benefits; thereby promoting holistic health.

Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.  It possesses incredible healing powers which can have a profound effect on both the body and the mind  

Numerous studies confirm the following health benefits of laughter  

  1. Laughter relaxes the whole body and improves your overall health

 A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter is not just about having fun. It is also great therapy for emotional and physical ailments. Laughter has a measurable effect on the human body 

  1. It boosts the immune system.  

Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.  

  1. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. 

Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.  

  1. It protects the heart.  

Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.  

  1. Laughing heavily also brings in much more oxygen to the lungs than normal breathing would do. 

More oxygen not only helps us expand our lung capacity, but it brings more oxygen into our bloodstream, keeping us healthier 

  1. It lightens anger’s heavy load.  

Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.  

  1. It can help with weight loss. 

Ten to fifteen minutes of laughing a day can help you lose weight. When we laugh, we burn calories, as laughing is similar to when we exercise. Our heart rate and blood pressure rise, and endorphins are released. A research result showed that laughing between ten to fifteen minutes can burn between 10-40 calories. 

  1. Laughing is a workout for your abs!  

As well as burning calories, laughing also works out your abs. When we laugh, our stomach muscles expand and contract as we take quick breaths in and out. This means that we are working out and toning our abs! 

  1. It helps you stay mentally healthy 

Laughter stops distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.  It adds joy and zest to life. Laughter helps you relax and recharge, enabling you to stay focused, strengthens resilience and accomplish more in life. Laughter makes you feel good. And this positive feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humour helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.   

  1. It creates bond

Laughter strengthens relationships, attracts to us, helps defuse conflict and promote bonding. Laughter shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and diffuse conflict. Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health. 

The power of laughter should never be underestimated. 

“Laughing is, and will always be, the best form of therapy.” Dau Voire 

Prosperity of the Soul – Key to Wellbeing by Olaronke Gbadebo

THE IMPACT OF YOUR THOUGHTS ON HEALTH BY OLARONKE GBADEBO

 A Healthy Laugh – Scientific American 

Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter in Mental Health: A Theoretical Review – PubMed (nih.gov) 

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