Laughter is the best medicine': we’re always being told that, but there’s actually more to a good giggle than just raising our spirits for a couple of minutes. Research shows that while children laugh up to 400 times a day, adults do it only 17 times a day, on average.
In fact, laughter therapy is a big deal and can improve your health in lots of different ways. Just check out these 10 benefits of chuckling…
- Reduces risk of heart disease. Research shows that laughing expands the inner walls of the arteries thereby increasing the blood flow. Furthermore, this positive effect lasted for 30-45 minutes.
- Checks blood pressure. When you laugh, the blood flow increases and the blood pressure rises. But when you stop laughing, blood pressure drops back to its baseline. This relaxing effect helps bring down blood pressure.
- Laughing boosts the immune system. Laughing increases the amount of immunoglobulins and T cells in the body, our body’s natural defense mechanism.
- Natural painkiller. Laughing helps people forget about pain. Studies show that children watching comedy films tolerate pain more easily. There are many more studies to validate the pain relieving effects of good laughter.
- Massages the abdominal organs. Belly laughing gives a good massage to the abdominal organs, like liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen and adrenal glands. As a result, blood flow is increased and their functioning is improved.
- Decreases stress. Laughing instantly reduces stress hormones levels and hence is one of the most effective ways to reduce effects of stress.
- Helps keep diabetes under control. A study showed that people who watched a funny video after meal had comparatively lesser blood sugar level than those who watched a serious film.
- Makes you look young. Laughing requires as many as 15 muscles to squeeze facial muscles in to a smile. This act increases the blood flow around the face making you look younger.
- Is an effective anti-depressant. Laughter keeps depression and anxiety at bay by boosting the production of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. It’s no surprise that people with a good sense of humor rarely get depressed. And even if they do get, they get over it quickly.
- Acts like a cleansing and energizing breath. During stress, our breathing is shallow and there is a build up carbon dioxide and residual air in our lungs. Belly laughing forces the air out of lungs, until its empty, followed by a deep inhalation. Hence repeated laughing cleanses the body and energizes it with fresh oxygen.
- Gives good sleep. One of the main factors responsible for sleep problems is stress and anxiety. Having a good laugh prior to sleep reduces stress and anxiety, promoting deep, restful sleep.
- Families that laugh together, stay together. In most affluent families, each member has their own separate room and TV. Forget watching an entire movie, they hardly get time to sit together for a meal. As a result there is hardly any bonding between the members. On other hand, families that spend time together and have a laugh, gel together and have a greater degree of bonding.
- Laughter is contagious. It not only lifts our spirits but also of others around us. Humorous are always in demand. A single humorous person lifts the spirit of everyone around him/her. Blessed are those who have such friends.