We’ve all heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but there really is research showing that humor and laughter can improve physical and emotional health. Here are some of the ways that laughter is good for your health:
- Relaxes the whole body and even leaves your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes (after a good, hearty laugh)
- Strengthens the immune system
- Triggers the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormone
- Increases blood flow and can help protect your heart from cardiovascular disease
- Decreases pain
- Reduces anxiety and fear
- Relieves stress
- Improves mood- how can you feel anxious, angry or sad when you’re laughing?
Shared laughter is even more powerful than laughing alone. It helps build strong and lasting bonds, and it can help heal resentments and disagreements as well as reduce tension in awkward moments. Laughter also brings people together during painful and challenging situations.
Here are some tips for creating opportunities to laugh:
- Keep a book of jokes or cartoons on your office shelf.
- Pull up a funny movie or TV clip on YouTube.
- Display pictures of you and your loved ones having fun.
- Pick a screen saver and desktop background that make you smile.
- Attend a laughter yoga class.
- Play with a pet.
- Do something silly with children.
How do you incorporate laughter into your day?
Information from National Humor Month; Image by Frank Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons