Laughter – it’s natural, it’s free and it’s totally contagious. It helps to bring people together, aids communication and reduces conflict. Did you know that a daily dose of laughter is good for your physical health too?
Art Linkletter was right! Laughter is good medicine for us.
When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, commonly known as ‘feel good hormones’. These chemicals not only promote an overall sense of well-being, but they can even help to provide temporary pain relief. At the same time, levels of stress hormones are reduced and our muscles loosen up so that both mental and physical relaxation is achieved. The production of immune cells and antibodies which are necessary to fight infection receive a boost, making our immune systems stronger.
As well as lifting our spirits and making our hearts feel lighter, laughter also increases the blood flow around the body, and researchers have found that it may even protect us from developing heart disease. By causing the lining of the arteries to expand, a good chuckle effectively allows blood to circulate more quickly, keeping not only the heart but the rest of the body well supplied and reducing the potential for blockages to form.
Studies which have been carried out in the health care fields, in the workplace and in the classroom have all demonstrated the benefits of laughter, so what are you waiting for? Go and dig out that favourite comedy film and laugh your way to better health!
While I am not a Doctor it is almost a given that your stress will go down and who knows, perhaps an answer to that nagging question or problem you have been trying to work up the nerve to face will come to you right after a good belly laugh.