Most adults don’t laugh anywhere as near as much as they did when they were children. But it’s time to change this! Laughter has so many health benefits that just going to watch a stand up routine, watching a funny movie, or browsing some funny memes online is well worth your time. Below are the five most powerful health benefits of laughter.
1. It Can Help Lower Stress
Studies have shown that laughter can effectively lower your stress levels. It does this by initiating and then cooling down your stress responses abruptly, leading you to feel more relaxed. Further studies have found that just anticipating laughter can make you feel better too, so it’s definitely worth watching a comedy or stand-up routine when you’re feeling anxious. A 2008 study found that laughter reduced the levels of the three main stress hormones – dopac, epinephrine and cortisol – by as much as 70%.
2. It Can Help to Relieve Pain
As well as lowering stress, laughter can also help to relieve pain. Laughter encourages your body to make a natural painkiller, which has been proven to help relieve the pain felt in the muscles by interrupting the spasm cycle. In 2011, Oxford University conducted a study which found that the more participants laughed, the lower the amount of pain they felt. The study concluded that while positive thinking and positive emotions are beneficial, it is the laughter itself that leads to the benefits.
3. It Can Reduce Blood Pressure Levels
Laughter has also been found to be able to reduce blood pressure levels. When you laugh, your blood flow is improved and your stress levels decrease – two things which lead to lower blood pressure. There are many benefits to this, with the main one being a lower likelihood of heart disease. In fact, one study found that people who laugh can still experience the effects of low blood pressure up to 24 hours later! It’s definitely worth bookmarking websites like lolhit.com for when you’re in need of a laugh!
4. It’s a Good Workout
Okay so laughing isn’t going to ever be as beneficial than going to the gym for an hour, however studies have found that laughing for around ten to fifteen minutes can burn 50 calories. Laughing also works your heart, diaphragm, shoulders and stomach muscles. I know which option I’d choose if given the choice between laughing for ten minutes and doing some crunches!
5. It Can Boost Your Immune System
Finally, laughing has been proven to be able to boost your immune system, so if you’re feeling a bit under the weather or have had a persistent cold you’re struggling to shake, it’s time to make yourself laugh! Laughter helps to boost immune cells and the number of antibodies in your body. The positive thoughts associated with laughter can also encourage your body to release neuropeptides, which further help fight illness.
The next time you’re not feeling too good, give laughter a try!