Have you noticed how you immediately feel better after sharing a laugh with friends or family? It is because laughing promotes healthy emotional and physical changes in the body.
- When you laugh, it relaxes your whole body, relieving physical stress and tension.
- Your immune system is boosted because laughter decreases stress hormones and boosts immune cells and antibodies that fight infection.
- Laughing prompts the production of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormone that can promote an overall feeling of well-being.
- Laughter is great for your heart, improving blood flow and the function of blood vessels, which has a protective effect.
- Sharing laughter with others can help to put problems in perspective, diffusing any feelings of anger or conflict more easily.
- You may even live longer if you laugh more, as one study discovered that people with a good sense of humour outlived those who didn’t laugh quite so much. The effect was especially pronounced in people fighting cancer.
As children, we often laugh hundreds of times a day, but as we get older, we become far more serious and less able to laugh frequently. Rediscovering the ability to laugh often can be a powerful antidote to anger, pain, stress or conflict, and it’s completely free!