Are you in need of a good laugh? Few things are more beneficial to a person’s overall well-being than laughter. In fact, the benefits of laughter extend to better mental health and is an indicator of better physical health as well.
If you need any more reason other than enjoyment to invite a few friends over and spend the afternoon telling jokes, watching funny YouTube videos, and swapping hilarious stories, consider these benefits of laughter.
1. Laughter Boosts Your Immune System
First, laughter boosts your immune system. Negative stress can cause your body to release chemicals that weaken your immune system, making you more likely to contract a disease.
Laughter, though, reduces negative stress and, in turn, prevents those chemicals from being released.
Laughter also promotes the release of T-cells, which are specialized immune system cells that fight off sickness. Next flu season, you may want to consider laughing as much as you can!
2. Laughter Promotes Good Heart Health
Laughter has been shown to both lower blood pressure and improves blood flow, both of which lead to better cardiovascular health and reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
3. Laughter Creates Bonds
If two people are laughing together, they will feel more emotionally connected.
This makes laughter a great tool if you are going on a date or trying to make friends with a coworker.
If you can get them laughing and laugh yourself as well, the two of you will both feel more connected to one another, and you will both leave the experience feeling more positive about the other person.
4. It Burns Calories
While you may not want to skip your workout routine in favor of watching stand up comedy, it’s still true that laughter does burn calories and can promote weight loss.
According to a study by the International Journal of Obesity, laughing for 15 minutes can burn 10-40 calories by raising your heart rate.
5. Laughter is a Great Energy Boost
When you laugh, your body increases its oxygen intake and releases endorphins.
Among many other positive effects, these two things can provide you with a quick, refreshing boost of energy.
6. Laughter Reduces Stress
The endorphins that laughter releases not only provide you with an energy boost, they also are a powerful way to reduce stress.
Endorphins work to reduce stress by counteracting the output of the stress-causing hormone cortisol and providing you with a sense of euphoria.
In fact, the effects of endorphins in the body have been compared to the effects of drugs such as morphine and codeine, except without any danger of addiction or dependence.
7. Laughing Improves Confidence and Performance
The ability to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake is a truly valuable trait.
Laughing at yourself allows you to build confidence and keeps minor setbacks from dragging you down.
If you can laugh something off rather than letting it fester in your mind, you can move on much quicker and avoid letting a small problem become a major one.
8. Laughter Helps You Better Retain Information
People tend to remember funny things more than anything else. If you develop the ability to find humor in the things you read and hear, you’ll be much more likely to retain the information you receive.
Likewise, if you want to get a point across to someone else in a way that they will be more likely to remember, make it funny.
This is one major reason that educators, writers, and speakers often do their best to instill humor into their material.
If you’ve ever taken a live seminar with me, you know that I start every session with as many as 15 to 18 cartoons.
The laughter that ensues accomplishes three important things: it lets people know that we are going to have fun.
It makes people feel more favorably bonded and connected to me. But most importantly, it helps people remember what I am teaching them.
9. Laughing Works Out Your Abs
Want to get six-pack abs? Laugh more often.
Laughter causes the muscles in your stomach to contract in a similar way to doing crunches or sit ups.
This is why you may feel your stomach hurting after a long period of heavy laughter.
10. Laughter Can Help Prevent Cancer
Laughter has been shown to increase the levels of Interferon-Gamma in the body, which in turn promotes the release of B-cells, T-cells, NK cells, and immunoglobulin, and it also helps regulate cell growth.
Not only can all of these things help boost your immune system, they may also help prevent the growth of cancerous cells.
So with the intention of having you laugh right now, let me share a recent joke I heard with you.
The famous Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi often walked barefoot which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, making him rather frail, and with his odd diet he often suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed with halitosis.
Post your favorite joke in the comments below and let’s all have a good laugh. Make sure to keep it clean though. Thanks for that. If you’re interested in learning more about positive thinking, click the button below to get a free Guide to Everyday Positive Thinking.
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of Thought Catalog.