Undoubtedly a day with laughter can be considered a great day and will leave you feeling refreshed and energised. Do you remember when you were younger, and you used to get the giggles with your friends at school? I can guarantee you that you can’t remember the last time you did this as an adult, but laughter has a huge role of play when it comes to keeping our mind and body in check.
So why is laughing so beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing?
Studies have shown that laughing has both short term and long terms benefits on our health, helping to reduce stress levels, relieve tension and make us feel generally happier. Of course, laughter isn’t going to cure all our health problems, but it can certainly put us on the right foot for living a less stressful life.
The short term benefits
- Laughter enhances our intake of air, stimulating our heart, lungs and muscles.
- Laughter increases endorphins, which leaves us feeling more energetic and able to tackle the day. It reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine(adrenaline), dopamine, and growth hormone.
- Laughter activates and relieves our stress response – studies have found that a good bout of laughter can contribute to decreasing our heart rate as well as our blood pressure which is considered both a short term and long-term benefit.
- Laughter can soothe muscle tension – it stimulates circulation which in turn aids muscle relaxation which could help reduce feelings of stress.
- Laughter is a great internal workout – A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs, and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterwards. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
The long-term benefits
- Laughter can improve our immune system – stress is well known for lowering our immune response so by reducing stress levels through regular laughter, we will stimulate our immune system which helps fight illnesses and virus. Laughter also increases the number of antibody-producing cells we have working for us and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
- Laughter can make you feel happier and increase personal satisfaction – by finding time to catch up with friends or just generally having a laugh with someone around the office on a regular basis, you may begin to feel happier, more personally satisfied and this could in turn have positive effects on your self-esteem and improve your wellbeing.
Not only will you feel better for including laughter in your day-to-day life, it’s also very contagious. Laughter connects us with others and bringing laughter into your life will undoubtedly help others around you to laugh more often and realise the benefits as well.
And last but not least, laughter is a great way to make friends and friendship is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy mind. Is laughing part of your daily routine?