6 health benefit of laughing backed by science
Laughter is a natural response to stimuli that’s different for all of us and according to Tom, Dick and Harry, laughter is (apparently) ‘the best medicine’.
Here are 6 benefits of having a good belly laugh, backed by science:
Laughter improves the mood
That’s because when we laugh, our brains release neurotransmitters called endorphins – natural, feel-good chemicals that promote a general sense of wellbeing.
Laughter reduces stress
The simple act of laughing stimulates a reduction in cortisol and adrenaline, two of the hormones responsible for feelings of stress and anxiety.
In a 2003 study, it was found that watching a funny video resulted in decreased levels of stress hormones.
Laughter boosts immunity
In a 2015 study, researchers tested the breast milk of postpartum mothers before and after laughter dance routines. They found that the dancing mothers had an increase in immunoglobulin – an infection-fighting antibody that plays an important role in the immune system.
Other studies have found that laughter can also trigger an increase in t-cells and natural killer cells. So when flu season is fast approaching – you’ll know what to do.
Laughter is good for the heart
A healthy bout of the giggles causes your facial, leg, back and abdominal muscles to expand and contract, while giving your diaphragm a good work out, too.
While it probably won’t be enough to replace your regular exercise routine, a 10 minute giggle session can actually burn up to 40 calories.
Laughter can help relieve pain
While laughter itself won’t take your pain away, it can help relieve it. Basically, the more endorphins in your body, the greater your threshold for pain.
Laughter can improve brain function
Since the act of laughing gets the respiratory system going, it in turns increases the amount of oxygen flowing to the brain, thus promoting healthier brain function.