Before you learn your first words, you can laugh. It’s humans’ universal, timeless language! A good chuckle makes you feel great in the moment and has more long-term health benefits. This becomes even more important when we age. In our sunset years, some of us lose sight of how wonderful it is to giggle. If you’re not convinced you’ve got much to laugh about, read on! The benefits of laughter for seniors are many . . .
Benefits of Laughter for Seniors
Right when you laugh, your body responds positively in a number of ways:
- You’ll release endorphins—happy energy that will leave you feeling good for a while even after the laughter ends.
- Conversely, your stress hormone—cortisol—drops when you begin to chuckle, meaning you’ll feel instant relief.
- Your whole body relaxes. Any tension in your joints and muscles will soften.
Laughter’s perks don’t just end there, though. There are multiple health benefits lasting much longer than the laugh itself. Laughter will:
- Decrease pain. While a hearty chuckle itself will not leave you feeling painless, laughter will distract your brain from places that feel sore or painful, allowing you to focus on the positive.
- Help your blood. This is one of the best health benefits of laughter for seniors. The short, rapid movements that happen in your body when you laugh are great for your circulation. This can improve your heart’s health, lower your blood pressure, and even decrease your blood sugar levels.
- Work out your abdominal muscles. There’s a reason that really good jokes “split your sides”—laughing exercises your abs! This won’t replace yoga or aerobics, per se, but it still keeps your core and diaphragm active.
- Help you cope with stress and/or combat depression. Again, laughter boosts endorphins and lowers cortisol. That said, laughing regularly will help increase your happiness and decrease your stress overall. This can help a person manage severe stress and even fight depression. This is an important benefit, as seniors are more prone to becoming depressed. Additionally, humor can help shift your perspective on stressful subjects—what may have once seemed unpleasant may suddenly become less daunting with a good laugh.
- Boost your immune system. Because laughter increases your blood and oxygen circulation, your immune system will eventually improve, too. You can’t beat that!
- Help you sleep. This is another benefit that stems from laughter’s stress-fighting qualities. When you aren’t tense, you’ll have more peaceful, pain-free, and longer sleep.
One of the best parts of laughter? It’s easy. While you should always keep up with eating right and exercising, having a good chuckle is possibly the simplest way to keep your body feeling good and healthy. So laugh it up! See a funny show or movie, tell a joke, or share a story that will get you and your friends giggling. It’s good for you!
Are you looking for an assisted living facility in Tennessee? If so, we hope you will look into Hearthside Senior Living Place. We have two locations—one in Collierville and one soon to open in Bartlett— and we always love a good laugh! Our staff would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore your preferred facility, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. We look forward to meeting you!