Sometimes we don’t need a ton of research to prove when something is good for us. It just seems obvious.
Some researchers tells us laughter is the best medicine for many different reasons. Then others try to prove that nothing is for sure. But ask yourself how you feel after you experience a laughing attack. I’m sure it doesn’t happen all that much, but when it does – it feels awesome!
Often times I chuckle or giggle at something that simply amuses me. But, not often enough do I experience that ab crunching laugh that leaves me feeling so good afterwards. That kind of laughter – the real unforced hilarious bout that strikes once in a blue moon, is the sort of laughter that I think really does something good.
Laughs like that can change my entire attitude, mood and perspective.
Take a minute to watch this short video of my son Max as he first discovered the zipper…
Do you feel any different after hearing a real belly laugh like that? If it even got a smile out of you – that’s a good thing. Just enough to turn your mood from sour to sweet.
As adults, we’re not going to get a kick out of something as simple as a zipper – but babies and kids in general are good reminders for us. They help us remember to lighten up a bit and not take life too seriously. Because we do know for sure that stress is harmful to our health, and if laughter helps reduce stress then isn’t it obviously good for us?
Who would even want to prove research wrong about laughter being good medicine? Maybe someone with a bad sense of humor, perhaps?
Studies have proved that belly rolling laughter helps our body produce pain-killing opiate-like chemicals as well as increase the release of happy hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.
And research done by Maciej Buchowski, of Vanderbilt University claims that 10-15 minutes of laughter burns a whoppin’ 50 calories. What a win-win situation! Feel good and burn calories – what else could we possibly want.
Other humor and laughter studies claim that laughter:
- Reduces stress, pain, depression, anxiety, and tension
- Increases release of endorphins and dopamine
- Elevates mood and feelings of well-being
- Enhances creativity & problem solving skills
- Increases memory, alterness & learning
- Raises self-esteem, hope, optimism, energy, and vigor
- Increases friendliness, helpfulness & builds cohesion
- Improves interpersonal interactions and relationships
- Exercises respiratory, abdominal, face, leg and back muscles
- Lowers your blood pressure (controversial)
- Increase vacular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
- Strengthens your immune system (controversial)
- Defend against respiratory infections & colds (controversial)
It has always intrigued me how much funnier I thought comedians were when I actually went to the club compared to watching them on TV. But Robert Provine, neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland and author of the book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, has proved that –
We laugh 30 times as much when we’re with other people than we do when we’re alone.
That being said, get out to your local comedy club or find other ways to surround yourself with others who are also ready for a laugh.
Gather up some friends for a game of Pictionary or Catch Phrase. These are two games I know can really stir up some good laughs among a group of friends.
The great thing about laughter is that whether all of the benefits are 100% proven or not, it still feels good to laugh and most people like to!
So, find a way to let loose, surround yourself with people that have a good sense of humor, and put yourself in situations where you’re more likely to crack up.
Are there any games, comedians, shows or other ways you know will get a good laugh? Leave us a comment!
Also, check out Natural Healthy Concepts Healthy Humor board on Pinterest and feel free to add your funny pins.
Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.
– Mark Twain
You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.
– Bill Cosby
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