There is no better feeling than a deep belly laugh, laughter can bring strangers together and establish tighter connections between family and friends. Whether it is a slight giggle or a deep, hearty laugh, laughing has a way of instantly changing the atmosphere. Not only is laughing good for social interactions, but there are also a variety of health benefits from laughter. Here are just five of the benefits that come with laughing.
Not only is laughter is an enhancer and stimulator for your lungs, muscles and heart, but it also helps with weight loss and increases the endorphins released by your brain. Laughing causes your stomach muscles to expand and contract (similar to doing sit-ups). Just like any other muscle in your body, your heart stays healthier when it gets exercised. Laughing will give your heart a mild workout and help the blood flow through your body.
Lower Blood Pressure
Adding a small amount of humor to your daily routine may help to lower your systolic blood pressure; research has shown that with 20 minutes of laughter, the top number (systolic) can be lowered by about 10 points. Consider listening to your favorite company while going for a brief walk each day to help keep you blood pressure under control.
A good laugh can help to reduce the symptoms of depression, including the stress, tension, anxiety and irritation. So, if you or someone you know is suffering with SAD or experiencing full-blown depression pop a comedy in the DVD player, sit back and laugh your depression away.
Not to say that laughing will completely heal what’s ailing you, but studies have shown that just 15 minutes of laughing may help to increase your pain tolerance. Not only does laughter increase your pain tolerance, but it distracts you from the pain and releases endorphins that are thought to be more powerful than pain medications.
Life is stressful, but you can minimize your daily stress with a good laugh. Laughing provides a variety of amazing short-term effects, including stress relief. Laughter can actually induce physical changes in your body that will stimulate blood circulation, relax muscles and improve your heart rate, all of which will ultimately turn your stress into a good, relaxed feeling.
Laughter works quickly. In fact, it only takes less than a half-second after being exposed to something comical for the electrical waves in your nervous system to reach the cerebral cortex and the motor sections of your brain, which are responsible for making your laugh. The more you laugh, the more stimulated your brain waves become; ultimately making you feel better.