Did you know that laughter can ease chronic pain, reduce stress and help you to lose weight? That’s right: laughter really is the best medicine. Not only does laughter make us happier and more sociable, it actually improves our health. Here’s how!
1. Laughter reduces stress.
You may have heard about the affects smiling – even a fake smile – has on your mood? Well, positive thoughts and feelings such as laughter have been scientifically proven to help relieve stress in a similar way! This is because laughter releases neuropeptides whilst simultaneously reducing stress responses such as the release of hormones like cortisol. It also helps to relieve any tension built up in your muscles having stimulated blood circulation, thus helping you to relax.
2. Burns calories.
Although researchers don’t suggest you swap your workout for a laughing fit, it’s been found that just ten minutes elevates your heart rate and can burn up to 40 calories.
3. A killer ad workout.
In addition to the point above, when you laugh muscles in your stomach expand and contract similarly to when you are intentionally working and toning your abs.
4. Better breathing.
Although you may feel laughter in your belly, laughter actually stimulates your lungs. Apparently, there are even exercise classes called Laughter Yoga and they’re actually quite popular in gyms around the world! A nice, long laughter session helps us to achieve longer, deeper breaths of fresh, highly oxygenated air and is particularly good for asthma sufferers.
5. Laughter has similar benefits as meditation.
Although loud, rambunctious laughter may seem like the complete opposite of meditation, researchers have found it produces the same types of brain waves experienced by people in true meditative states!
6. Boosts your immune system.
As laughter decreases the rate at which our stress hormones are released, it also increases out immune cell production! In particular, laughter boosts T-Cell creation, which specialise in immediately fighting sickness.
7. Natural painkiller.
Ironically, laughing until your sides hurt actually causes your body to release endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers.