We all know how great we feel after we have watched a hysterical comedy, seen something really funny, or just had a silly giggle over nothing. But did you know that there are lots of other real, tangible benefits associated with ‘laughter'?
Here are six reasons why everyone should let themselves go and have a really good laugh every single day.
#1 Laughter Is A Great Mood Enhancer
Laughter is an instant vacation – Milton Berle
Not too surprisingly a good laugh improves your overall mood, but did you know it also physically relaxes you too?
How? Well, it releases all that nasty built up stress we accumulate in our muscles, tendons, and joints. It also reduces our blood pressure, improves cardiovascular flow, and helps make our hearts healthier so we live longer!
On top of all that, it helps us recharge our batteries so afterwards we actually become more productive and focused.
Maybe that's why every office has a joker?
#2 Laughter Calms Our Nerves
Laughter is a tranquillizer with no side effects – Arnold H Glasow
Incredibly, research shows that laughter actually helps balance our nervous system by reducing stress hormones (such as adrenaline, cortisol, and epinephrine) released into the body.
It’s all part of our ancestral ‘fight or flight' programming that modern day living plays sweet havoc with, apart from those of us who still hunt sabre tooth tigers for a living!
As an added bonus, it also improves our memory, makes us more creative, wakes us up and even has the power to reduce pain through the increase in pain releasing endorphins.
Clever stuff this ‘laughter' thing isn't it?
#3 Laughter Strengthens Our Immune System
Nobody ever died of laughing – Max Beerbohm
It just keeps getting better and better.
Laughter increases the production of anti-bodies and immune cells, which allows our bodies to fight off illnesses and infections.
So, next time you feel like you might be coming down with a cold, reach for your favorite comedy to self-medicate with.
#4 Laughter Helps Us To Bond With People
Laughter is the closest distance between two people – Victor Borge
This is another obvious one, but still worth mentioning.
We all know from experience that yawning is contagious, but actually laughter is a much more contagious act. In fact, it’s about the most catching thing going.
Who hasn't been in an awkward or embarrassing situation where someone starts to laugh and it ‘breaks the ice' and everyone starts to talk and get on better?
I mean, why do you think we have ‘Ice Breakers' at the start of most work or academic courses?
It can also be a great way of diffusing conflicts and avoiding arguments.
#5 Laughter Makes Us More Attractive
Happy girls are the prettiest – Audrey Hepburn
Please don't laugh!
Actually do – and often. I am not suggesting that having a giggling fit at an inappropriate moment is going to turn you into an international sex kitten. It’s not. But studies have shown that people are attracted to people who laugh. Generally speaking, it shows you have a sense of humor, get on with people, and are positive.
Plus, laughter is a form of all over body exercise (especially the abdominal region), so when done regularly – i.e. every day – it should help you keep fit, stay in good shape, and even make you look younger.
That’s all guaranteed to make you look sexier and feel happier!
#6 Laughter Helps Us Have A Healthy Appetite
Laughter is brightest in the place where food is – Irish Proverb
You might think this is a hard one to swallow, but if you are someone who suffers from regular indigestion problems, then I would strongly recommend you increase your laughter quota because, incredible as it seems, it will actually help with your digestive system.
Why? Because it produces digestive enzymes, acts as a stomach massage, and stimulates the wave of contraction and relaxation along the alimentary canal (if you like fancy words it’s called ‘peristalsis').
It increases bile production and even helps relieve constipation!
There are so many great reasons for laughter and there are lots of great opportunities to have fun and enjoy a laugh. From playing with pets (my favorite), and being silly with kids, to playing a fun, sociable sport like ten pin bowling or even going to a karaoke night.
So go on – what are you waiting for?
Now you know all the benefits you'd be crazy not to have a laugh every day. And remember:
Seven days without laughter makes one weak – Mort Walker