6 INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER (BACKED BY SCIENCE)
When it comes to our health, laughter truly is the best medicine.
One of the greatest feelings in the world is laughing so hard your tummy hurts and tears start to form in your eyes. Having a laugh with friends and loved ones is all the therapy you need after a stressful day. And as it turns out, according to science, laughter is so much more than just a mood booster.
Laughter can bring people together and form amazing connections. From a little giggle to a ‘can’t breathe, deep-rooted down to your belly’ kind of laugh, it all helps to contribute to a happier and healthier life.
So, if you’re ready for a good giggle, let’s get to laughing, I mean learning…
1. Laughter can reduce blood pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a negative side effect of an unhealthy lifestyle and stress. It is also a big risk factor for stroke and heart disease (yikes).
But, when we laugh, we feel a weight lifted off of our shoulders. It’s pretty difficult to stress when you are laughing, am I right?
Researchers wanted to know whether laughter could, in fact, bring down your blood pressure through investigating the effects of humour therapy. After extensive studies, they discovered that laughter significantly decreases high blood pressure.
Because of these studies, this led to the creation of Laughter Yoga. This form of yoga initiates laughter through bodily exercise and eye contact to create a contagious kind of laughter.
So the next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and a little rundown, then pop on something funny, phone a friend, or join in on some laughter yoga and have a good giggle!
2. Laughter can boost your immune system and improve your health
When the flu cold seasons hit, perhaps all you need is a shot of laughter…
A number of studies have found laughter to stimulate the production of T-cells in your body. These specialised immune cells help to fight off invading pathogens.
Laughter allows for antibodies cells like the T-cells to develop at much faster rates, as these hormonal shifts from laughter change your body’s chemistry for the better.
3. Laughter can help ease the effects of anxiety
Anxiety is something so many of us deal with on a daily basis.
Many of us quietly suffer from overwhelming thoughts of self-doubt and stress.
However, because laughter is able to reduce stress levels, this simultaneously reduces your anxiety.
Studies conducted on Laughter Therapy found that it can improve anxiety in patients suffering from depression, improve optimism and boost your self-esteem.
Overall, laughter was found to provide people suffering from anxiety and depression with a form of a positive coping mechanism to help you get through the difficult periods in your life.
4. Laughter is a natural form of exercise
The next time you want a great ab workout – have a laugh!
When you laugh, you use muscles to create the movement, laughter engages your diaphragm and your abdominal muscle groups. And depending on how hard you laugh, your arms, shoulders, back and legs might also get a bit of a workout too!
5. Laughter makes you feel great (and eases pain)!
This is probably one of the most obvious benefits of laughter, but as it turns out, there is science to back this!
Studies have shown that smiling or laughing can improve your mood and overall well-being through the release of endorphins. These are hormones are linked to an increased pain threshold, meaning laughter is a natural painkiller.
Did you know that endorphins attach themselves to the same receptors in your brain’s as opiates, meaning that the release of endorphins is like a natural high, without the adverse side effects? This eases your mood, tension and any pain in your body.
6. Laughter promotes creativity and healthier brain function
Laughter has a number of positive effects on the various chemical processes taking place in your body.
With the combination of a reduction in stress hormones, an increase in endorphins and an increase in oxygenation to the blood and brain, this causes an increase in creativity.
Because laughter improves your overall brain health, it means your creative mind can work more effectively as your brain is now a place where ideas can foster and grow!
Something to giggle over…
In the spirit of laughter, our team at WellBe have put together some giggle-worthy healthy happy meals. These meals are designed to lift your spirits and naturally release your serotonin levels in your brain (the happy hormone).
Click here to have a look and have a laugh over a deliciously healthy meal!