There hasn’t been a lot to laugh about over the past couple of years as we have all learned how to adjust with the changing times. So how do we bring more laughter into our lives in 2023?
No matter what our life circumstances are, we can always add a bit of laughter. It doesn’t change or fix our problems, but it allows us time to heal and alleviates the stressors of life in a way that helps us to feel better.
Laughter may be necessary after a long periods of ongoing stress, illness, or conflict. Laughter truly is the best medicine and has many health benefits. One reason I became a certified Laughter Yoga Leader was because of the many physical and emotional health benefits that bring joy to children and adults. Plus I also wanted to increase more laughter into my own life.
Research has found both short-term and long-term benefits including:
- Stimulates your organs: When you laugh, you take in more oxygen which stimulates your lungs, heart and muscles.
- Relaxes your muscles: When you get stressed, your body tenses and laughter releases physical tension in the body and relaxes the muscles.
- Improves cardiac health: Laughing increases your heart rate and oxygen, improving vascular function and decrease the risk of heart attacks.
- Boosts immune system: When you’re stressed, negative thoughts can turn into chemical reactions that decrease your immunity to sickness. Laughter helps you adopt a positive mindset that releases infection-fighting antibodies and neuropeptides that help fight stress.
- Lowers blood pressure: Laughter releases endorphins that counteract the negative effects of stress hormones.
- Helps with weight loss: Laughing reduces the stress hormones that cause weight gain as you burns calories.
Mental Health Benefits of Laughter
- Provides distraction: When you laugh, you aren’t thinking about anything other than what you are laughing about. Laughter provides your brain with a break from the worry.
- Improves your mood: Laughing can diffuse anger and depression.
- Reduces stress hormones: Laughter can decrease cortisol levels by increasing your intake of oxygen and stimulating circulation throughout the body.
- Increases endorphins: Endorphins are those “feel-good” chemicals produced by your brain that help boost happiness levels. Laughing increases the number of endorphins released in your body, fighting off stress and promoting a positive mood.
- Strengthens relationships: A shared laugh with friends, family or a coworker can help you feel more connected. Humor is also a powerful way to heal disagreements or resentments.