15 Feb Laughter is Good for Your Health
While we all enjoy a good laugh studies show that laughter is also good for your health. It turns out the popular quote: “Laughter is the best medicine” is true. In fact, this saying originates from a verse in the Bible (Proverbs 17:22), “A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” In fact, anyone at any age can enjoy the benefits of more laughter in their lives but there are certain advantages for the senior population. A Norwegian study has shown that those people with a good sense of humor have an increased lifespan. Furthermore, a study has shown that the use of humor can have a positive effect on elevating mood while decreasing aggressive behavior in elderly patients with dementia.
- By laughing 10 – 15 minutes a day you can burn up to 40 calories per day— translating to four pounds a year.
- Relieves tension and stress by relaxing muscles.
- Decreases cortisol and adrenaline levels which helps lower the risk of developing certain health problems including weight gain, high blood pressure, low bone density and heart disease.
- Provides a boost to the immune system helping to fight off sickness and disease
- Decreases pain levels by triggering the release of endorphins—the feel good hormone in the brain.
- Protects against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
- Lowers blood sugar levels.
- Makes life more fun.
- Provides natural relief from stress, anxiety, sadness and anger
- Improves overall mood and outlook on life.
- Gives emotional strength to help with life’s challenges and obstacles.
– Increases friendships —people are drawn to those with a good sense of humor.
– Strengthens relationship with spouse/partner. Studies show couples who laugh together have higher-quality relationships and are happier being together.
– Diffuses conflict.
– People bond together by sharing a good laugh.
– Builds rapport with a group.
– Makes a group task more enjoyable.
HOW TO LAUGH MORE:
- Set a goal to laugh more. Make an intent to laugh part as of your daily routine.
- Smile more. The very act of smiling sends a positive message to your brain releasing those feel-good endorphins.
- Watch a funny movie.
- Join a laughter yoga class (studies have shown a body will receive the benefits of laughter whether the laughter is real or fake).