The Benefits of a Good Laugh
They might label laughter as the best medicine, but how exactly does it impact our minds and bodies in such a positive way that it becomes almost just as good as medicine?
A good exercise for the heart and lungs
Try to notice what your body does when you laugh. You will notice that you’re taking deep breaths here and there. And if you feel your chest, you’ll realize that your heart is beating faster than usual. By those observations alone, you can easily say that laughter gives your heart and lungs a good exercise.
Exercising these two vital organs has plenty of physiological benefits. Since you are breathing more, you’re increasing your oxygen intake. Moreover, since your heart is pumping a lot more, you are getting all that oxygen throughout your body. Good overall oxygenation has a lot of benefits. It increases healing rate, improves visual clarity, and puts your brain in full gear.
Improves mood and eliminates stress
Studies have shown that laughter reduces stress hormones, like epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones are responsible for keeping us in heightened alert during difficult or emergency situations. However, some people have sustained high levels of these hormones due to chronic stress. These people may find it hard to “switch off” and relax. Such a chronic state of stress is not good for the body in the long run. It can increase the potential for many lifestyle-related problems such as heart disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and even cancer. While laughter may not be able to cure these diseases once they are there, it can surely help prevent them by eliminating stress.
Boosts the immune system
Laughter also has a positive impact on immune function. For one, the increased blood flow allows immunity components to circulate the body effectively. The lymphatic system -the body’s immune circulation highway -can be manually stimulated with the help of a good laughing session. But it doesn’t stop at that. The same study shows that laughter has an impact on immune function at the cellular level with the production of lymphocytes. This improved production and circulation of immune components make the body a whole lot more efficient in fighting off all types of diseases, even cancer.
Tones your core muscles
Ever notice how you get a belly-ache after laughing too much? That’s because your abdominal muscles get engaged during the act of laughing. If you observe closely, the muscles in your core expand and contract while you laugh. It may even feel as if you’re doing abdominal crunches. However, don’t count on it purely to get your dream six-pack. Laughing alone will not be able to strain your muscles enough to stimulate muscle development. But still, it counts for some good and fun exercise.
Increases motivation, productivity, and creativity
Laughter does not only eliminate stress hormones. It also causes the body to produce more feel-good hormones like oxytocin. You’ll clearly notice a lightness and sense of wellbeing after a good laugh. When you feel good, you are more likely to feel motivated, and therefore more productive. It is also when you feel good that you can think a lot more clearly and come up with better and more creative ideas.
If you believe in the power of laughter and want to share its positive impact on others, you can become a laughter facilitator through this Laughter Facilitator Course.