Why Is Laughter the Best Medicine?
If you’re pondering the positive effects of a great guffaw, it helps to think about what happens when you laugh. There’s more than just a sound effect that rumbles through the air. There’s also a noticeable impact on your body. When you appreciate the benefits of a cheerful chuckle, you may want to look for ways to bring more laughter into your life.
Laughter’s Healthy Effects
If you’re interested in wellness, a sense of humor is a handy tool. As Mayo Clinic indicates, laughter offers a number of positive health benefits:
- Releasing endorphins. Powerful, mood-boosting neurochemicals, endorphins are your body’s natural way of feeling better.
- Stimulating organs. Laughing pushes your lungs, heart, muscles, and other organs to work a little harder. In doing so, it increases your intake of oxygen and mimics exercise. According to Health Digest, a good laugh can raise your heart rate by up to 20 percent.
- Soothing the stress response away. A lively, cathartic laugh initially triggers the body’s stress response, speeding circulation, raising the heart rate, and increasing blood pressure. As the laugh fades, so does the stress response. Circulation, heart rate, and blood pressure all fall. Muscle tension also decreases, and you’re left feeling pleasantly loose. It’s like you’ve just had a great workout.
- Easing pain sensitivity. Laughter can make pain more tolerable. This may be a result of more endorphins, which are natural pain killers. The reduction of stress and muscle tension may also help.
- Boosting mood. People often experience sadness, frustration, anxiety, or depression. Humor offers a way to fight back. Laughter can help combat stress, improve self-esteem, and lighten tension.
- Improving the immune system. Negative thinking tends to increase stress and can actually set off chemical reactions that reduce immunity. Laughter is a positive force that can help release neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that support the immune system and strengthen it.
- Increasing social connections. Humor builds connections. People who laugh and smile attract others to them. This makes it easier to create a supportive social network.
Ways to Invite Laughter More into Your Life
With so many great benefits, it’s only natural to want more laughter in your life. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that you can use to invite more humor into your day:
- Smile. Smiling is contagious. When you smile, you’re setting the stage for positive interactions.
- Manage your stress. Being too stressed can make it harder to see the humorous side. Hone your stress management skills so that you’re ready to embrace laughter where you find it.
- Consider your blessings. Thinking about the good things in your life makes it easier to find a positive headspace where you can benefit from laughter.
- Look for laughter. Look for the laugh in everyday life. Is it absurd or ironic? Instead of complaining when something goes wrong, think about what makes it funny.
- Bring humor into the discussion. Ask people for their funny stories. Be ready to share your own, and be ready to laugh at yourself.
- Hang out with fun people. Spending time with people who laugh and have fun can help you develop or rediscover these habits.
- Choose fun reminders that make you smile. Do you have a funny family photo that always makes you crack up? Use it for your phone’s home screen. Have you always loved a certain cartoon character? Get a keychain featuring them for your car keys. Small things that make you smile can get you in the mood for more laughter.
- Embrace comedy. Whether you love funny books, enjoy classic sitcoms, delight in modern movies, or prefer something else entirely, indulging your funny bone by enjoying your favorite type of comedic entertainment is a fantastic way to bring more laughter into your life.
Why is laughter the best medicine? Whether you spend time pondering that question or never give it a second thought, the truth remains the same. Laughter is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t just feel good. It’s good for you. It’s a handy tool that you can use to improve your mood and your health without waiting for a prescription.
Are you looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville and Bartlett. Our warm and inviting communities make it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle, with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. We would be happy to schedule a tour for you so that you can explore the community, speak with the Community Director, meet some of the residents, and ask any questions you might have. To learn more about our amenities and services, please call 901-266-3329 (Bartlett) or 901-854-6590 (Collierville). We look forward to meeting you!