Are there positive links between laughter & health?
Laughter is an essential ingredient to your better wellbeing. Laughter is known to cure diseases, reduces stress levels and generally makes us feel good; taking our mind off negative thoughts and events.
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humour lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
Some researchers believe laughter is the key to putting that spring back in your step, leading to happy, healthy seniors. “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. “They might just be healthier too.”
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.
- Laughter dissolves distressing emotions
- You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing
- Laughter helps you relax and recharge. Reducing stress and increasing energy, laughter enables you to stay focused and accomplish more
- Humour shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed
- Laughter boosts the immune system. It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain
- Laughter protects the heart. Improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems
Laughter is the best medicine: Hear it from the doctors…
“Your sense of humour is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”
– Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.
“Laughter activates the body’s natural relaxation response. It’s like internal jogging, providing a good massage to all internal organs while also toning abdominal muscles.”
– Dr. Gulshan Sethi, Head of cardiothoracic surgery, Tucson Medical Center
“Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system.”
– Dr. Michael Miller, Director of Preventive Cardiology, University of Maryland Medical Center.
Laughter – How it effects the body
Laughing is an easy (and fun) activity for senior’s health and fitness. In the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body. Here are some of the results.
- Blood flow
- Immune response
- Blood sugar levels
- Stress hormones
- Relaxation and sleep
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.
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