As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. But did you know that there is real scientific evidence to back up this claim? We've researched 5 ways laughter can improve your health based on what psychologists say.
1. Laughter releases endorphins
“Similar to exercise, laughter releases feel good endorphins that can make us feel content, energised and less stressed. Recent scientific studies have found laughter can release endorphins in the brain, and increasing our opioid peptides, resulting in more pleasurable and calm feelings.”
2. Laughter can reduce stress
“Laughter can fire up - and then cool down - your stress response, while increasing and then decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure, all resulting in a more relaxed state. It can also act as a natural tension relief, stimulating circulation and aiding in muscle relaxation, thus relieving the symptoms of stress.”
3. Laughter can counteract intense emotion
“Although it can sometimes feel unnatural to laugh during troublesome times, it is a powerful way of giving ourselves a mental break and facilitating the renewal of our psychological resources so we can cope with the situation better.”
4. Laughter can be a pain reliever
“Genuine laughter has been proven by recent studies to release endorphins and opioid peptides in the brain, which have some pain-killing and euphoria-producing effects on the body. The pain-relieving effect of laughter means that it can help us recover from stress and even help in prolonging our tolerance for physical pain – allowing us to persist longer with pain simply because we have the mental capacity to do so.”
5. Laughter can strengthen your immune system
“It is widely believed that negative thoughts can manifest into chemical reactions that affect our body through stress and, in turn, decrease our immunity. Instead, laughing can release neuropeptides that will help fight stress and potentially physical illnesses such as heart disease by improving blood flow.”
Need a bit more laughter in your life?
· Spend time with funny people
· Take in some local comedy
· Post a picture of yourself laughing where you can see it every day
· Keep a joke file and share jokes with others to brighten their day and yours
· Find the humour in something serious
The bottom line – laughter may just be the best medicine on the market today.