Laughter draws us together is both a physical and emotional way. It triggers positive physiological changes in the body. We know it strengthens relationships, improves the way we think and feel, it helps us find greater happiness and fulfilment…but did you know it actually benefits health in a number of different ways too?
Laughter helps stimulate important organs.
When we laugh we take in more oxygen which in turn stimulates our muscles, lungs and heart and increases the release of our natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals (i.e. endorphins) from the brain.
Laughter is a form of pain relief.
The endorphins released during the laughing process are a natural painkiller. Essentially, those who laugh don’t experience less pain, rather their coping mechanisms are increased so they are less bothered by it. In other words, the level of pain remains the same, but one’s level of perceived pain is decreased.
Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.
Laughter increases personal satisfaction and strengthens relationships.
Laughter can both restore or establish a connection between two or more people. Laughter, in fact, brings people closer together. It is a social strengthener. It can also provide personal satisfaction in that laughter can help us cope more easily in difficult or stressful situations.
Laughter strengthens our immunity.
Laughter is a positive experience that results in the release of specific neuropeptides that help reduce stress and increase our immune system, helping us fight off infection and illness. In actual fact, mirthful or joyous laughter has been showing to increase the number of natural killer cell levels, an important white blood cell that attacks cancer cells.
Laughter puts us in a good mood.
We all know this is the case. Need I say any more?
Laughter relieves stress.
The laughing process induces muscle contraction, which increases blood flow and thus the oxygenation of surround tissue. This stimulates the lungs and the heart to the trigger those ‘feel-good’ endorphins that we talked about earlier which help us relax both physically and emotionally.
Laughter reduces tension.
Ever noticed that you get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you’ve had a good laugh? Rollicking laughter can further stimulate blood flow, aiding muscle relaxation. It also works to improve the function of our blood vessels and capillaries which has cardioprotective effects.
I challenge you to seek out more opportunities for laughter in your daily life. I promise you it will work to strengthen your immunity, boost your mood, relieve pain, protect you from infection and so. much. more. Why wouldn’t you laugh a little more?