Kids laugh hundreds of times a day. As adults, we can go all day without laughing or sharing a laugh with someone. Why is that? For one thing, we may feel like we have to take life more seriously. In addition, we have more stress and anxiety. It’s harder to see the humor in things.
Laughter may actually be good for us. It may have physical and mental health benefits. While there may not be definitive research on the healing powers of laughter, it certainly won’t hurt you any!
What happens when you laugh?
When we laugh, we stretch the muscles throughout our face and bodies. I have laughed so hard that my stomach muscles will be sore later. It addition, your pulse goes up as well as your blood pressure, and you breathe faster which sends more oxygen to your tissues. The results of laughing are very similar to exercise. Laughter may even burn calories. What could be better than that?
How does laughing effect your health?
Finding humor in life may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the blood. It may also boost the levels of immune cells. So, laughing may help strengthen your immune system.
Laughter may help lower blood sugar levels – helping reduce the risk of diabetes.
Laughing can help you relax, give you a general sense of well-being and help you sleep better. It may also help those with chronic pain relax and achieve more pain free sleep.
You may have a more open mind when you have a good sense of humor. Laughing may help you improve your creativity and problem-solving skills.
Could laughter be the best medicine?
Scientist are not completely convinced that laughter really has major effects on our minds and bodies. For one thing, it’s really hard to conduct a controlled experiment on laughter. For instance, if research subjects reported that they were in less pain when they were laughing, is it the act of laughing or the distraction in general that brings about the pain relief? So, it becomes hard to measure the true benefits of laughter.
Yet, even if it’s not the laughing that makes you feel better, isn’t it still beneficial to laugh? Laughing means you have a good sense of humor and that means you typically take things less seriously and may better manage stress. You most likely have a positive attitude if you can see the humor in situations. You may have supportive friends and family who help give you reasons to laugh. And as we’ve discussed in previous blogs, reducing stress, having a positive outlook and having good relationships are all vital to good health.
5 ways to increase your laugh-ability:
Want to ramp up your ability to laugh and have more fun? Here are some activities to help you get in more laughs.
Spend time with happy people – If you hang out with fun and playful people, you are bound to have some laughs.
Laugh at your own expense – Share your embarrassing moments with your friends and family. Real life can be the best comedy.
Search out humorous entertainment – Go see funny movies. Read humorous books or watch comedies on TV.
Play games – Playing board games or charades with friends and family will most likely involve friendly bickering, good natured name-calling and quite a few laughs.
Hang out with kids – Spending time with kids brings out the kid in all of us. And, kids can say the darnedest things. They bring spontaneity and humor without even trying.
So, take time to laugh today. You’ll feel better, you may be healthier, and you just might brighten someone else’s day!