What are the Benefits of Laughter?

benefits of laughter

Last updated on May 26th, 2024 at 02:07 pm

We’ve all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” As an experienced health and wellness blogger with over 10 years in the field, I can tell you that this is absolutely true. Laughter really does provide some powerful benefits for both your physical and mental health.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth yet fun look at some of the top advantages of making laughter a regular part of your life. Get ready to get your giggle on! By the end, you’ll see that having a good laugh each day truly pays off in numerous ways.

Who said laughter is the best medicine?

The popular saying “laughter is the best medicine” is often attributed to comedian Charlie Chaplin, who was known to say, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” However, the phrase does not originate from Chaplin himself. It is actually a Proverb that has been passed down for many years across many cultures.

The underlying sentiment behind “laughter is the best medicine” reflects the universal understanding that maintaining a sense of humor and joyfulness in the face of adversity has incredible healing powers – both emotionally and physically. Though we may not know who exactly coined the term, we certainly understand the timeless wisdom and truth behind the simple yet profound notion that laughter truly is good for the body and soul. The person who posted this insightful axiom likely intuited what science continues to prove today: laughter boosts our moods, fortifies our resilience, and even enhances our health in measurable ways.

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3 Benefits of Laughter

3 benefits of laughter

The Physical Perks

Let’s start by getting physical! Here are some of the key bodily benefits you can gain from laughing heartily on the regular:

It’s a work out – Believe it or not, having a good belly laugh actually burns calories! When laughter engages your diaphragm, abdomen, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles, it gives you an aerobic workout. We’re talking in the range of 10 to 40 calories per 10 to 15 minutes of laughter. I’ll take a chuckle workout over the treadmill anytime!

Boosts immunity – Studies show that laughter can cause the release of endorphins, which are chemicals that act as natural painkillers. Laughter also decreases the level of cortisol and epinephrine, stress hormones that can negatively impact immune system functioning. By keeping these hormones in check through laughter, our bodies are better able to fight infection and disease.

Lowers blood pressure – Hard laughter has been shown to cause an initial increase in blood pressure, followed by a drop to levels lower than they were before you started cracking up! This has positive implications for cardiovascular health and overall blood flow. Pretty neat how a simple giggle can get our blood pumping in beneficial ways.

Mental and Emotional Magic

Not only is laughter fabulous for our physical being, but it also works wonders for our state of mind and emotional well-being. Take a look at some of the most awesome cognitive and mood boosting abilities of laughter:

Elevates mood – Laughter releases the feel-good hormones called endorphins, resulting in that familiar warm and uplifting feeling we get after having a good giggle session. In fact, researchers believe laughter triggers our brains to release endorphins because in our ancestral past, laughter signaled a positive emotional interaction. So laugh on and tap into those natural chemical reactions designed to boost your mood!

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Eases anxiety – Studies reveal that humor and laughter can reduce symptoms of anxiety. Even anticipating laughter can ease tension. This is because laughter brings more oxygenated blood to the body and brain, which can calm the mind and relieve muscle tension. Just knowing you’re heading into a laughter-filled situation can improve your frame of mind.

Enhances resilience – Being able to laugh in the face of adversity, uncertainty, grief or even trauma has been shown to indicate higher levels of resilience and psychological well-being. Laughter gives us the courage and positive perspective needed to endure difficult situations rather than becoming overwhelmed by negativity. A good sense of humor truly is a sign of mental strength and resilience.

Bring on the Laughs!

As you can see, laughter deserves prime placement in our self-care tool box. It keeps our heart strong, our white blood cells active, our mood lifted and our mind resilient. My prescription as a health blogger is for each of us to seek out a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes per day of laughter-inducing humor!

This could come in the form of funny videos, comical movies, jokes with friends, amusing books, stand-up comedy specials, silly songs or any other giggle-promoting activities. Find what tickles your funny bone specifically and indulge regularly. Your mind and body will thank you!

Here are some easy, enjoyable ways I personally get my daily dose of yuks and yucks:

Funny dog videos on YouTube

  • Playing jokes and being silly with my kids
  • Comedy podcasts like Marc Maron or The Dollop
  • Lighthearted and humorous novels
  • Watching reruns of shows like The Office and Parks & Recreation
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The options for laughter are endless. We just have to intentionally carve time out of each day to soak in the amusing side of life. Give it a try and let the healing chuckles begin!

Your lips were made for smiling, your belly for shaking with laughter and your eyes for sparking with joy. Go ahead and put them all to good use – your mind and body deserve to revel in the benefits!

Is laughter good for the brain?

Laughter provides numerous cognitive benefits that promote brain health. Studies show it increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain which improves function. Laughing also facilitates creative thinking and problem-solving by putting us in a more relaxed, positive mood.

Our stress hormones decrease and feel-good endorphins are released when we laugh, making it easier to focus mentally. Laughter even develops resilience and adaptability in the brain by helping us cope with difficult situations. So by stimulating both emotional and physiological responses that optimize brain performance, the simple act of laughing has very real neurological perks.

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