Why Laughter Is Good For Your Health
If you were born at any time in the last several hundred years (and I know you were), you’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. Whether you find yourself laughing often or not, you most likely have found yourself wondering why laughter is always talked of in this way. Why is it so important for our health both mentally and physically?
The truth is that even though our bodies recognize it, most people don’t think of the benefits of laughter in either our physical or mental health. But laughter is beneficial for your whole body and mind in ways that you may have never thought of.
Helps You Think More Clearly
Studies have shown that people who laugh more often in life actually produce brain waves similar to those who are in a meditative state. This means that laughter can actually clear your mind in similar ways to meditation or other calming practices.
Think about it – how do you feel after you’ve laughed a lot? More peaceful? When you laugh, you are able to open yourself up. Whether you had been having a fantastic day or a rough one, laughing will clear the thoughts, if even temporarily.
Fights Negativity and Mental Health Issues
Laughter and happiness help to fight negativity. It is just a fact. When you are laughing – truly laughing – it actually changes the chemicals being released in your body.
When we laugh, we release endorphins. Endorphins occur naturally in our bodies and they make us feel better. These are the same chemicals that are released when we exercise, so if you don’t feel like taking a run, try watching a funny movie! By finding the laughter inside of you, you can actually combat those feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety and many more mental health challenges.
What’s more, there is some evidence to show that laughter is a treatment for PTSD. While it is not the treatment for everyone dealing with trauma, this method uses laughter in order to change a memory of a trauma into a memory of an emotion. If you are dealing with PTSD, this may be a method worth asking your medical professionals about. If your medicine can be laughter and it can truly help you heal, it could be worth trying.
Provides Temporary Pain Relief
Much like the benefits toward mental health, the relaxing effect that laughter has on your body can actually cause temporary physical pain relief as well.
When endorphins get released, they actually interact with the receptors in our brain and lower physical discomfort and pain. According to WebMD, the endorphins work in such a way that it triggers the body into a positive mode, much like one you feel with morphine. The big difference here is that again, you are using your natural chemicals to assist your body rather than something that pharmacology can provide.
Reduces Stress Chemicals
Even if you don’t have a diagnosable physical or mental health challenge, we all feel stress. Laughter has been proven to fight and cancel out the stress chemicals within your body. In much the same way as it treats diagnosable challenges, it helps us relax and clear our heads so that we can get on with our lives.
Improves Physical Health
Laughter has a myriad of good effects on your physical health. These include improved blood flow, lowered blood sugar levels, a stronger immune system, muscle relaxation, better sleep, and so much more. It is the natural medicine for our bodies and you can never get too much.
Increases Relationship Strength
Laughing with loved ones or friends can increase the strength of your bond and relationship. It creates good memories together, making you more likely to want to spend time with them again and more likely to trust them.
Particularly if you’ve struggled in a relationship with someone, try to find things that you can laugh about. It is a good foundation for letting the past go and moving into the future.
Helps You Make Friends
A positive and laughing person draws in others. Think about it, are you more likely to want to participate in a conversation where people are laughing or one where they are complaining? Laughter exhibits the fact that you can be a jovial, positive person, and people want to be with someone like that.
Laughter truly can improve your mental health as well as your physical health in so many ways. It is important for social relationships and your general well-being.
Common sayings don’t become that way because they aren’t true! Remember to smile and laugh more because it will not only keep you happier and healthier, it will improve your quality of life all around.