Why is laughter good for your health? According to extensive research done by doctors and scientists, there are many reasons. Laughter benefits our health by boosting immune function; releasing natural killer cells which destroy tumors and viruses; decreasing stress; increasing disease fighting antibodies; and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Laughter also protects the heart! It improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Think about how good you feel when you laugh! As well as the physical benefits I mentioned above, there are plenty of mental health benefits too. Laughter adds joy and zest to life, it eases anxiety and fear, relieves stress, and improves your mood. We benefit socially from laughter because it; strengthens relationships, attracts others to us, enhances teamwork, helps diffuse conflict and promotes group bonding.
So, how do we invite laughter in? The easiest way is to seek out funny people. They will immediately lighten your mood, help you to relax and increase your energy. Watching a funny T.V. show or movie might be another way. Goofing around with your kids or doing fun activities like bowling and miniature golfing may also do the trick. If you can incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, it will no doubt improve your connections with co-workers, family and friends. Who wants to sit in a meeting and hear the constant drone of a speaker while he/she goes over the financials of the first quarter? Wouldn’t you rather have some humor interjected here and there to make this “boring” information a little less boring? Of course you would!
Before I close, I wanted to share a quote from an internet article that I read. It said “a healthy dose of laughter gives our bodies a good work out… it is estimated that hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on an exercise bike or elliptical.” That is certainly easy exercise! Let’s all try to incorporate a little more laughter in our lives – it really is the best medicine!