It Really is the Best Medicine: the Health Benefits of Laughter
It’s long been touted as the ‘best medicine’, but exactly why and how is laughter so good for you? Whether you’re doubled over after a joke told by a friend, or quietly giggling at internet memes, here is why laughter is benefitting both your physical and mental health.
Laughter activates and relieves your stress response, resulting in an increase and subsequent decrease in your blood pressure. This also serves to reduce the association between stressful events and later stress responses, one study found. Additionally laughter reduces tension by stimulating circulation and aiding muscle relaxation.
Not only does laughter improve emotional wellbeing, it also stimulates your organs. When you're belly laughing, you're taking in oxygen-rich air which fires up your muscles, including your heart and lungs. It also increases endorphin activity, which means you're boosting your mood and energy levels.
As well as decreasing stress hormones, laughter also increases immune cells and antibodies, turning your immune system into a powerhouse of resistance against all those nasty germs and viruses.
Of course, we can’t forget the impact that laughter has on mood. It triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural feel-good chemicals, and can help you feel more relaxed, happy, and energised. Therefore, even if you're in a bad mood, laughter can change that by lifting your spirits. So, the next time you're feeling a little blue, hang out with a friend who makes you laugh, or stick on a funny movie. You’ll be feeling better in no time!
As you can see, laughter is not just good for your mood, but also your physical wellbeing. If you want to benefit from a good laugh, spend time with funny friends, watch comedy performances, or find some hilarious TV shows to binge-watch. It's a win-win situation; you'll be in a better mood while benefitting from a whole range of physiological improvements. What are you waiting for? Get laughing!