Want to live longer? Laugh as much as you can—it could help. While it is said that laughter is the best medicine, we seem to forget this as we grow from children into adults. As adults, we laugh about 12 to 15 times a day, while children laugh about 300 to 500 times a day. Think about it, daily tickle time, hilarious cartoons, and not having a care in the world makes them happier human beings with amazingly low stress levels. As adults, we are faced with bills, work, and other responsibilities that leave us perpetually tense. There are various ways that laughter can combat not only stress, but other health conditions we may potentially face.
How laughter can promote a healthy lifestyle
Protect your heart
Laughing can help protect us from a heart attack and other heart conditions. When we laugh, our blood vessels function better, increasing blood flow throughout our bodies.
Become more resilient
People who know how to laugh at themselves are often happier in their lives. Rather than allowing a failure to anger them, they acknowledge it and learn from their mistake.
Relax your body
The contraction of our muscles increases oxygenation while releasing endorphins throughout our bodies, helping us feel more physically and emotionally relaxed. A good laugh can relieve tension and relax our muscles for up to 45 minutes.
Ease your pain
Endorphins are actually natural painkillers, so laughter can relieve minor aches or pain we may experience. While laughter won’t eliminate pain altogether, it might reduce it to a bearable level. Cardiac surgeon, Dr. Gulshan Sethi, taught laughter yoga and even used it to help his own back pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, laughter yoga could be an alleviation method worth trying.
Boost your immune system
Laughter causes our stress levels to decrease and our immune system to increase, helping to ward off infections and diseases.
Bring More Laughter in Your Life
- Spend time with positive, funny people who genuinely make you happy—corny counts.
- Attend a laughter yoga class.
- Laugh at yourself more often.
- Attend a comedy show and/or watch more comedic movies and television.
- Share a funny story, even if it’s at your expense. (The perfect opportunity to practice laughing at yourself.)
- Participate in the activities you enjoy.
- Play with your kids and talk to them.
Laughter is contagious, so it not only benefits your health, but those around you as well. For your next movie night, take a break from thrillers and try that comedy everyone has been raving about. Who knows—you could be prolonging your life.