There are multiple different health benefits of busting out some laughs.
You might have heard people say “Laughter is the best medicine.” But it’s more than just a saying— laughing can really benefit your health.
“Just a few minutes of laughter a day can improve your health in more ways than you might realize,” explains Maria Heveran, a physician assistant at Geisinger Lewisburg clinic.
A giggle a day keeps the doctor away
Laughing not only feels good, it is good for you. This “medicine” is fast, free, and can be taken anywhere. Here are some of the powerful health benefits a bout of laughter can deliver.
Have you ever wondered why laughing literally feels great? When you laugh, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins.
“Releasing endorphins can help increase the body’s natural painkilling response,” says Heveran. “This helps with chronic pain and can improve your mood.”
Those extra endorphins do more than give you a little lift — they can also reduce stress. “Laughter is a valuable coping mechanism when we’re feeling stressed,” Heveran notes. “A hearty belly laugh can help start the day on a positive note and finish it on a relaxing one.”
Boosting your immune system
When you giggle, chortle or guffaw, you reduce your body’s production of stress hormones, like cortisol. “It can also activate infection-fighting cells,” says Heveran. “By managing stress with laughter, you’ll help fight off stress reactions in the body.”
Increasing blood flow to internal organs
Each time you laugh, you breathe more deeply. This sends more oxygen into your lungs and helps your heart pump oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. Increased oxygen promotes healthy cell growth and allows your organs to work more efficiently, helping you feel your best.
Feeling tense? A few minutes of hearty laughter can reduce tension in the body and make you feel calmer.