- Laughing has a positive physical impact on the body
- It can reduce stress and help our immune systems work better
- Laughing can even temporarily reduce pain
- “Fake it till you make it” — voluntary laughter has a positive effect similar to spontaneous laughter
When was the last time you had a good laugh? Not the sarcastic-chuckle-about-what-a-joke-2020-has-been kind of laugh, but a good ‘ol belly laugh that nourishes the soul. It’s been a while? Well, we totally get it. But if you knew how good laughter was for not just your soul but also your stress levels and immune system, you might be seeking out some humor along with those coveted toilet rolls (see — we’re trying to be funny to help you out!)
But exactly how does laughter help your body work better? And how can we find ways to laugh more? Read on to find out.
HOW LAUGHTER HELPS THE BODY
Boosts your immune system
According to this article from the Mayo Clinic, “Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.”
Stimulates your organs
No kidding (yep, the puns are flowing today) — when you laugh you actually take in more oxygen-rich air which stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles. Think of it as a mini-workout for your insides.
Works on your stress response
Laughing actually activates then relieves the stress response, leaving you in a more relaxed state than you were before. Stress = a lowered immune system, so anything that can relieve stress is helping your immune system.
Helps your heart
Laughter increases circulation, which in turn helps improve the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, making for a happy heart.
Those feel-good hormones you get from exercise? Your brain releases them during a good laugh as well. Endorphins can even relieve pain temporarily.
HOW TO BRING MORE LAUGHTER INTO YOUR LIFE
Ok, so it seems there’s a lot to laugh about here. But how do we bring more laughter into our lives? The following are some great ways to laugh more, frown less, and simply bring a little more happiness into your day. If it boosts your immune system along the way, then all the better!
Seriously. Sit there and smile. Then force a laugh. Make it last for 20 seconds and see how you feel. Even forced laughter brings on some of the positive effects of instinctive laughter, so why not give it a try (when your neighbors aren’t watching, obviously…)
Find a funny show or comedian who makes you laugh
We don’t all find the same things funny, but if you have a show or late night host that makes you chuckle, watch them on the regular. If they replace yet another viewing of the news, all the better!
Text your friends the funny things your kids say. Share memes. Watch a comedy with your partner. And laugh with people — it’s contagious (in the good kind of way!)
Practice laughter yoga
Yep, it’s a thing. Laughter yoga includes prolonged voluntary laughter and is usually done in groups. It’s based on the concept that voluntary laughter delivers the same mental and physical benefits as spontaneous laughter. Go on, give it a try!
Keep reminders around you
“Life is better when you’re laughing...” “I try not to laugh at my own jokes, but we all know I’m hilarious…” Put some funny signs up around the house or your office, post some pictures, write your own memes — it doesn’t really matter. As long as there are some reminders around you to take life a little less seriously and laugh, it will work.
When all is said and done, it seems that the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine” bears some scientific truth worth listening to. So settle down with a nice cup of LonoLife bone broth, put on your favorite comedy, and laugh away!