The Health Benefits of Laughter

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The Countless Health Benefits of Laughter

Milton Berle once said that “laughter is an instant vacation” and there are many who would agree with him and say that laughter can relieve stress. Steve Wilson, a psychologist, stated that he believes “that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off… they might be healthier too.” And many studies about laughter and its affect on the body have been undertaken.

Each of us can attest that laughing – even if it is just at a silly joke – makes us feel better. Doctor Scott Weems said in an interview that “comedy is like a mental exercise” and Charlie Chaplin once said that “a day without laughter is a day wasted”. But what are the affects of laughter on our bodies and why does it make us feel better?

Well, laughter reduces stress hormone levels and triggers the release of endorphines. This means that laughter does have a physical influence in making you feel better and happier. Just think of the last time you had a really good laugh – didn’t you feel less stressed and happier afterwards? But it’s not just your stress hormone levels which are reduced. Laughter can also lower your blood pressure as it improves the flow of blood.

Your immune system may also get a boost from laughter, as it may boost the T cells in your immune system. Another health benefit is that laughter may relieve pain. Although it may not get rid of all types of pain or get rid of it completely, a 2011 study by researchers from Oxford University did find that laughing may relieve pain.

As a cherry on top, laughter is also good for your mind. Doctor Scott Weems, a cognitive neuroscientist, found in his research that people who were exposed to comedy are better able to answer semantic associates tasks.

These are just a few ways in which laughter can help you in your everyday life. Why not try to bring more laughter into your life through comedic films or books? There is even laughter therapy available, should you want to take that route.

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Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her website, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.