Q: What do you call bears with no ears?
We’ve all heard the saying “Laughter is the best medicine,” but how true is that anyway? Of course, it feels great to laugh but does laughing have any real effects on health and well being? As it turns out, laughter has a lot of positive effects on the body. For one, a good belly laugh can be as stimulating as exercising. Laughter also releases feel-good chemicals and helps boost your immune system.
Working Out (Teehee)
Laughter basically gives your body a brief workout. As funny as it sounds, laughter burns calories. One researcher found that a 15 minute session of chuckles can burn 50 calories. And like any other workout, laughter uses your muscles. As you may be able to attest, your core is heavily exercised when you experience intense laughter and your heart rate increases. Now, if you’re a really engaged laugher and move your limbs around when you laugh, you can increase your heart rate quite a bit. Afterword, your muscles will be relaxed and so will you. Laughter is literally a workout for your body.
Giggling Feels Good
It may seem obvious to say that laughter feels good, but it’s true. That good feeling is because laughing causes the release of endorphins (feel-good chemicals), and ultimately improves your mood. Along with endorphin release, laughter is a stress buffer. Whenever you find yourself in a bad mood due to stress, go online and look up some funny videos. You’ll find your mood has lifted afterward. Moreover, having a good sense of humor is related to high levels of self-esteem and optimism. Laughter can help you feel good in general, and a good sense of humor can make you feel good about yourself.
Chuckling Improves Immune Health
Laughter boosts your immune system. Laughing is basically the opposite of being stressed out! In fact, laughter decreases stress hormones. Stress hormones suppress the immune system, so when they’re not in play, your immune system benefits. More than that, laughter improves your ability to fight infections by boosting antibodies and other immune cells. Laughter is quite literally a form of medicine!
Making laughter a normal part of your day can help raise your vibe and draw in even more happiness and health. If you feel like you don’t laugh enough, find ways to laugh more, such as reaching out to friends who make you laugh, looking up funny videos, or doing something silly once a day. If you feel like you laugh plenty in a day, keep on keeping on. Cackle, guffaw, and snicker your way to good health and happiness.