Laughter is Medicine

We have all heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine..”
How much do we know about laughter? Is it really the BEST medicine?

We have all felt the benefits of a good, hearty, belly laugh. There are many studies that show the various benefits of laughter and its impact physically, mentally and socially.

Physically we feel better after a laugh but what exactly is happening? When we laugh we breathe in significantly more air. Oxygen is essential for our organs to function properly. This increase in oxygen rich air ultimately stimulates your lungs, heart and muscles. Stress causes tension in our muscles. Laughter aids in stress relief by relaxing the muscles for up to 45 minutes. Laughter can even improve our cardiac health. When you laugh your heart rate increases and gets more of the oxygen into your blood. This is beneficial to your vascular health and can help prevent heart attacks.

Mental health is such an important aspect of our lives. It is proven that laughter can bring many benefits to your mental state. So what is it about laughter that makes us feel so good? The answer is endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel good” chemicals in our brain that makes us feel happy. Laughter increases these endorphins and helps to fight off bad moods. There are so many negative stressors in life. Laughter can give your brain a needed break.

Socially, laughter can bring people together and improve communication, cooperation and connection. You have all heard the individual giving a speech that starts off by telling a joke. Laughter brings a sense of comfort. When we are all laughing together we are likely to talk more and feel connected. Laughter can have a positive effect on all relationships.

If you are looking to bring some more laughter into your life, here are some things to try:
– Listen to a funny podcast
– Spend more time with a pet
– Follow a funny meme account
– Create a Pinterest board of things that make you laugh
– Watch a funny YouTube channel
– Host a game night with friends

In conclusion, the comedian Milton Berle said it best, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Laughter is one of the best medicines available to all!