Go Ahead – Laugh It Up
A few chuckles a day may help keep the doctor away.
You don’t need a prescription. There’s no doctor involved. A therapist can’t guarantee it. Nope. It’s up to you to tap into this all-natural remedy for what ails you — laughter.
The health benefits of laughter are not an old wives’ tale or the stuff of urban legend. From mental and physical ailments to depression and chronic pain, laughter is now scientifically proven to improve your health and quality of life.
Get a Workout
Laughing is a great workout, especially for those who can’t exercise due to illness or injury. It gets your heart pumping and burns as many calories in an hour as slow to moderate waking. And don’t forget your abs. Laughing causes them to expand and contract, much like when you intentionally work your abdominal muscles.
Fight Disease and Manage Pain
Laughter increases production of T cells and B cells, which can help manage immune response and fight infection, viruses and disease — laughing actually boosts your immune system up to 40 percent. And a little laughter can actually increase your pain threshold, and it triggers the release of endorphins that reduce chronic pain.
Lower blood pressure is one of the perks of laughter, which dilates the inner lining of the blood vessels. This improves circulation, increasing blood flow by 22 percent. And lower blood pressure means reduced risk of stroke and heart attack and increased mental function.
Stress and Relaxation
Laughing releases endorphins and reduces the levels of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, which cuts stress and anxiety levels. Laughing boosts your social skills and reduces anger and aggression. A little laughter helps you cope better, promotes relaxation and good sleep, and produces a general sense of well-being
Have You Forgotten How to Laugh?
Laughter is contagious, infectious and just plain fun. And you only need 15 to 20 minutes a day to notice positive changes in your life. In need of a little fodder? Watch your favorite Netflix comedy, or read a humorous article.
Or just look to the experts. As adults we laugh an average of 15 times a day while children laugh 300 times a day. And given their unstoppable energy, excitement and wonder at the world, it’s safe to say they’re onto something.
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