Laughter is good medicine with no negative side effects: In times like these, everyone needs to laugh
The Mayo Clinic reports laughter has significant health benefits including:
- Stimulates many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activates and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothes tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
- Improves your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieves pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
- Increases personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
- Improves your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
Interestingly, researchers tell us the brain doesn’t recognize the difference between forced laughter and real laughter; even a forced laugh is beneficial. Go ahead, give it a try. World Laughter Day (May 3rd) is a perfect time to share a laugh. When you laugh others will laugh with you!
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