The benefits of laughter for health care to help you live longer, stimulate the immune system, relieve pain, reduce depression, improve personal relationships, burn calories, improve breathing and protect the heart.
Laughter is regulated by our brain and allows us to convey to others how we feel. But it is that laughter, not only brings information to other humans, but also makes the mind, brain and body communicate.
Benefits of Laughter
When we laugh, our brain releases substances that make us feel great. These are endorphins and dopamine.
Endorphins and dopamine are neurotransmitters that cause reactions and states in the body. Endorphins are considered the natural opiates of the body, so when we laugh our pain decreases. On the other hand, dopamine is directly related to psychological well-being.
In addition, when we laugh, the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, are decreased. So when we laugh our stress levels decrease, making us feel calmer and with a better coping ability.
As Freud said, laughter is the best way to release negative energy.
9 Health Benefits of Laughter
1 – Laughter makes us more ligneous and helps us live longer
According to some research recently published by Archives of General Psychiatry, older people who take their lives with humor and a positive outlook, as opposed to negativity and sadness, are more likely to live longer.
The study selected people aged 65-85, and those older people who laughed often and were more optimistic had a 55% lower chance of dying for any reason than those who had a negative and pessimistic view.
This means that just for laughing and facing life thinking that good things are going to come; it means that your chance of getting sick and dying is reduced to more than half.
- Laughter stimulates our immune system
Laughing causes our immune system to be activated. This means that we are more protected against diseases, because our body will find itself stronger to be able to face those pathogens that can contact us.
Laughter stimulates our immune system because it causes the T-cell level to increase. The T cells of our body are those that are responsible for producing antibodies, which would be those molecules that defend us from substances that penetrate our body and can hurt us.
So, if we look at it directly, laughing makes the possibility of contracting a cold diminish.
- Relieves pain and makes us stronger before it
When we are not well, or have any pain that prevents us from going about our daily lives, we usually take some kind of analgesic drug to calm that discomfort.
Well, one of the benefits of laughter is that it works as the best of painkillers.
Laughter can distract us from the focus of attention, so we would be awhile without paying attention to the pain. But in addition, as I told you at the beginning of the article, laughing releases endorphins, which have the same ability to reduce the sensation of pain as chemical morphine.
According to a study in Britain, it was found that with only 15 minutes of laughter a day, the person can increase their level of tolerance to pain by 10%. This means that if we laugh we will enjoy a higher threshold of pain, so knowing this information, we have in our hands the decision of whether we want to better endure pain and not have to resort to pharmacology whenever we feel any discomfort.
- Laughter Makes Depression Decrease
As you probably know, people with depression usually feel negative emotions most of the time.
This is why it is logical to think that laughing can help these patients reduce their discomfort.
Laughing makes we lessen tension, stress, anxiety as well as irritation. These four factors are directly related to depression, so if we lower them in our body, it will help us with depressive processes.
There is a type of therapy that uses laughter as a tool for intervention with patients; the Risoterapia. In a study published by the journal G geriatric and Gerontology International, it was found that laughter therapy reduces depression in patients with advanced ages.
As a curious fact in this section, you can diagnose depression through the laughter of a person. This has been discovered by the Universidad Completeness de Madrid, and has to do with the evaluation of how the laughter of a person.
- Increases the likelihood of interpersonal relationships
Laughter helps us communicate with others, so it is likely that even you pay more attention to those people who give good humor than those who are always serious and have rarely seen a laugh.
According to a study conducted by the University of California, men are more attracted to women who often laugh or be in a good mood. They found that the female gender laughs 125% more than the male.
In addition, when starting a relationship, facing difficulties with good humor makes the relationship work better and the couple feels more united in the face of adversity.
So if you are trying to find a partner or make friends remember that a good smile can be your best letter of introduction.
- Laughter also gives us social benefits
Who has not ended up laughing to see other people laughing? I’m sure this happened to you, too. The clearest example is our reaction to a baby’s laughter. And is that even if we do not know what the others are laughing, we can end up laughing too.
This happens thanks to neurons called mirror neurons, which are activated when seeing how others perform a certain action. These neurons play a very important role in cognitive abilities that are related to the social world, such as imitation or empathy.
Mirror neurons are involved in the transmission of behaviors, such as laughter or even the act of yawning.
Laughter can then be considered contagious, so this is socially beneficial. It is reciprocal: we can make others laugh, and surround ourselves with people with good humor can improve ours.
In addition the quality of the social relation would improve, and the interaction becomes in this way a much more pleasant experience.
- Laughter helps us stay in shape
What would you say if I told you that laughing is equivalent to practicing exercise? You’re sure to be surprised by this statement, but it’s totally true.
The act of laughing causes the diaphragm to move and the abs to contract. And also after the act of laughing, our abdominal muscles become more relaxed than it was before.
To give you an idea, laughing 100 times is equivalent to performing 10 minutes of rowing, or even 15 minutes on a static bike. It may not seem like much to you, but the fact that such a natural and pleasant act is so healthy is quite positive.
How could it be otherwise, laughing also helps us lose weight by helping us burn calories? Laughter, when it is a laugh, raises the heart rate and having a higher heart rate our metabolism accelerates, making the calorie burn is greater.
If you are doing some type of diet, maybe it would be interesting to add a good plate of laughter to your diet.
- Laughter Makes Our Breath Better
Breathing in the right way is very important to us. Sometimes we have to make the respiratory process conscious so we can do it in a healthy way.
A good breath completely oxygenates our organism, nourishes our tissues and helps our cells to be better.
Continued laughter causes our lungs to be completely cleaned of CO2- depleted air, and when it is released, fresh air can flow back in, which will be rich in oxygen.
The act of laughing makes us breathe at a deeper level, causing a good oxygenation throughout the body, so for those who suffer respiratory diseases can help them feel much better.
- Laughter protects our heart and improves the vascular system
People who laugh a lot and often enjoy lower blood pressure than those who, even though they laugh, do not do it assiduously.
When we laugh out loud, at an initial moment our blood pressure increases, but at the end of the laugh, our blood pressure drops to lower levels than we had before laughing.
Laughing causes our blood vessels to dilate and expand, causing blood flow to be greater. By regulating this, laughter is related to a lower likelihood of suffering from heart disease.
Also if we focus on the heart muscle, that is, in the heart, the act of laughing is also beneficial for him.
The heart is a muscle, and just like any other muscle in the body, it will work better and have greater strength if you exercise. Laughing makes our heart work out, so it is a way to make exercise beneficial to our heart.
Science has determined that laughing only 15 minutes a day is just as effective and healthy for our body as performing 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week. Or what would be the same, 15 minutes of laughter a day, equals 90 minutes of exercise a week.
How can I laugh more often?
It seems like a simple question, but sometimes it is difficult for us to find motives or to look for situations where we can laugh until we surrender. This is why I leave you here some situations that can cause you a good desire to laugh.
- You can watch some comedy.
- Go to a club where they organize monologues.
- Read a funny book.
- Surround yourself with fun people.
- Share jokes.
- Visit humor websites.
- Practice Laughter
- Practice fun activities.
How you could read laughing is a good way to have our organism both content and healthy.
It is true that you cannot always be in a good mood, or laughing. In fact it is also not healthy not to show your feelings whatever they are. But after all you have read in this article, surely now a part of you thinks that many times more than being sad without option to control it, we choose to be.
So, laugh, look at how good life gives you and brings you, maybe it’s a lot, maybe it’s not much, but there’s no better way to get up each day than with optimism and a big smile.