Why laughter benefits your health & wellbeing
Laughter is our most basic emotional responses, but we aren’t taught to laugh or even smile; they’re as natural to us as breathing.
Laughter is clinically proven to have a powerful and positive effect on wellbeing. It heals and renews the human body and mind, and nothing works faster or more dependably to bring the mind and body back in to balance. Happily, there is growing interest in laughter as a simple and effective health and wellbeing strategy, although it’s still a much underutilised health and wellbeing resource.
A Japanese scientist geneticist, Kazuo Murakami used laughter to trigger energy inside a person’s DNA, potentially helping to cure a disease. Murakami has teamed up on the study with an unlikely research partner: stand-up comedians, who he hopes can turn their one-liners into efficient, low-cost medical treatment.
Genes are usually regarded as immutable, but in reality more than 90% of them are dormant or less active in producing protein, so some types of stimulation can wake them up. Murakami’s tentative theory is that laughter is one such stimulant, which can trigger energy inside a person’s DNA potentially helping cure disease.
“A laughing therapy has no side-effects, meaning it’s an epoch-making treatment for clinical medicine,” Murakami said. “One day it won’t be a joke to see patients receive a prescription for a comedy video at a pharmacy for medical treatment,” he added.
Let’s explore some of the more recent discoveries in the ever-growing list of benefits stemmed from laughter:
Physical Health Benefits
- Boosts immunity
- Lowers stress hormones
- Decreases pain
- Relaxes your muscles
- Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits
- Adds joy and zest to life
- Eases anxiety and fear
- Relieves stress
- Enhances resilience
- Improves mood
- Strengthens relationships
- Attracts others to us
- Enhances teamwork
- Helps defuse conflict
- Promotes group bonding
Video: Happiness starts with a smile
Watch this funny 1-minute TV commercial by Coca-Cola
Read more on laughter, its positive links and health benefits
To read more behind the benefits of laughter, and the link between laughter and our health and wellbeing, see our volume on Laughter, the key to happiness – Chapter 1 of our eBook. This 20-pages chapter includes further insights on:
- Laughter’s 14 proven health benefits
- Laughter – How it effects the body
- Laughter as a Stress buster
- Laughter as a Painkiller
- Laughter and Immunity
- Cancer and Laughter
- Laughter as an Aerobic Exercise
- Laughter Regulates Genes
- Finding ways to laugh
Also included in Volume One is a 16-page chapter on Smiling and it’s health benefits, as well as including proven studies on how owning a pet is actually good for you.
Subscribe to our newsletter