I am probably the biggest laugher there is. I laugh at pretty much everything, especially the thing I shouldn’t be laughing at. But who knew how healthy laughing really is? There have been so many studies that show a little laughter can go a long way. I was very interested in this topic since this is something we all do pretty often, without even knowing we are benefiting our health. Laughing can bring people together, relieve stress, reduce anxiety, help depression, along with strengthening your immune system and treating pain. It can not only benefit our health, but also make us a better person with helping us in relationships, and getting through tough times. It make make us live a longer, healthier and happier life.
Helpguide.org researched and found the best benefits that laughing has on us:
- Laughing burns calories! This is definitely a plus no matter if you are on a diet or what. It says that if you laugh 10-15 minutes, that already burns you 40 calories. Think about how much you laugh a day, way more than that. If you add up all of those minutes, that’s equivalent to burning three pounds in a year JUST from laughing.
- Laughing helps our hearts! Laughing can be our heart’s life savor! It helps our blood vessels function and which, therefore, increases blood flow in our body. This helps prevent us from getting blood clots and puts us at less of a risk of a heart attack.
- Our immune system: saved! Laughing even decreases our stress hormones and increases our immune system. This means that just by naturally laughing, we are at less risk for disease and illnesses. Laughing helps fight off our antibodies.
- Laughing is a pain reliever! Laughing triggers our endorphins to release. Endorphins are ‘feel good’ chemicals in our body, therefore, relieving pain.
- No need for yoga, laughing helps us relax! When you have a real good, hard, laugh, your muscles loosen. This leads to no pain and straight relaxation.
- Laughing gets rid of your angry load! When you think about it, you laugh because you are happy, or because you are thinking of the positive side to something. This means that you are not focusing on the bad/ sad, you are focusing on the good. Laughing is a mental thing, because you are thinking of the positive.
- Last but not least: laughing means long(er) life! This article states that in a study taken place in Norway, people that laugh a lot and have a good sense of humor live longer than people that don’t laugh as often.
Gurinder S. Bains, a Ph.D. candidate at Loma Linda University, stated in Harvard Health Publications, even said that laughing as an elder is healthy and suggested. Laughing is a way of life, it shows that you are enjoying the moment and everyone needs that. I find it interesting how when we laugh, we don’t think about all of the benefits it has on us. We just know, that in that moment, we are happy. A study was done at California’s Loma Linda University to see if laughing is more than just a comic relief, and has other benefits. They randomly chose 20 healthy women in their 60’s-70’s and measured their short-term memory and stress levels. There were two groups: one group was sitting in a quiet room doing absolutely nothing and the other group was watching a bunch of funny videos. Twenty minutes later, all of the participants gave saliva samples and took another short-term memory test. 43.6% of the women who watched funny videos were able to recall facts while only 20.3% were in the non-laughing group. This proves to me that laughing really does make for a better life.