This secret to good health is no joke.
How does an octopus go into battle? Well-armed.
Okay, maybe that one made you groan instead of laugh, but in honor of National Tell a Joke Day, we had to start with a joke! Now it’s your turn to come up with something to make your friends and family laugh (or roll their eyes) because we can all use as much laughter as possible in our lives. Particularly since it has measurable health benefits!
Let’s look at how laughter can reduce stress and improve our physical and mental health:
- Releases endorphins
- Stimulates the lungs and heart
- Improves the immune system
- Strengthens personal bonds
- Increases life satisfaction and wellbeing
Keep reading for more info about how laughter can reduce stress!
Laughter floods our body with good feelings and good hormones to match! When you laugh, your body stops releasing stress hormones like cortisol and amps up the body’s production of natural “happy hormones” like dopamine. Endorphins are amazing little neurochemicals that enhance pleasure and can even relieve physical pain!
Stimulates the lungs and heart
Think about the actual physical act of laughing: you’re physically contracting your body and taking in extra oxygen. It’s almost like a mini-workout! Laughter has been shown to increase cardiovascular strength and lower blood pressure. And your respiratory system gets a nice boost, too: your lungs start working harder, forcing out older air and taking in fresh new oxygen.
All this physical engagement is even good for muscles like your abs (laugh your way into that six-pack!). Of course, the best kind of laugh is a nice deep “belly laugh,” so spend time around the people who bring those out in you!
Improves the immune system
It’s like your mother always said: laughter is the best medicine. Preventative medicine, at that! While stress and depression are associated with a weaker immune system, laughter does just the opposite, releasing brain chemicals that can help stave off anxiety and illness. Comedy is even shown to improve daily life functioning in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Strengthens personal bonds
As you’ve probably experienced many times throughout your life, there’s nothing that brings people together quite like sharing a good laugh. From giggling on the floor at an elementary school sleepover to getting older and cracking up over an inside joke with decades of history behind it, laughter tightens those all-important social bonds as nothing else can. Those friendships even have health benefits, including stress reduction!
Increases life satisfaction and wellbeing
This one doesn’t need any scientific studies to prove it, because of course, a life with more laughter is a happier and more satisfying one! The best thing about life is the joy we experience and share with others.
Whether you’re reading this on the official National Tell a Joke Day or not, use this as your reason to come up with some zingers and call that friend who always makes you laugh! With the help of our captioned telephones for hearing loss, you’ll never have to worry about missing a punchline.