It’s a long-held truism, by laughter might actually be beneficial for your health. Don’t believe us? See you humourless GP for confirmation.
Pills, potion, exercise, diet. All proven effective as ways to enhance our health. But guess what else you can do to feel better and live happier? Laugh! I’m not joking!
It’s estimated that adults only laugh an average of 20 times a day (insert sad face), while children laugh around 300 times a day. Ruth Samer, Founder and CEO of care service, Care For Family says, “Our physiology actually changes when we laugh, which encourages some crucial health benefits that can have a positive effect on our health, especially as we age.”
In the lead up to International Moment of Laughter Day (14 April 2018), here’s a rundown of the major benefits that genuine laughter can have on your physical and mental health.
Reduces risk of stroke and heart attack
Laughter can lower blood pressure, which is a great benefit for everyone. This is a particularly significant benefit for seniors, who are at a greater risk of high blood pressure, which can ultimately lead to a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
Reduces stress levels and boosts immunity
Laughter increases our levels of dopamine, which can assist in naturally decreasing our stress levels. Aspects of our immune system can decrease with age, but the reduction of stress through laughter can lead to a strengthened immune system.
Laughter releases endorphins to the brain, which relieves muscular tension, and therefore increases our ability to withstand pain. Since humour can minimise pain and discomfort, this can also lead to a strengthened patient/carer relationship by taking away these stressors and ultimately allowing more effective communication.
Medical professionals have found that those who have a better outlook on life can fight diseases better than those with a negative attitude. Some doctors suggest that this is due to the mind having great power over the immune system; so pessimism can stress you out and deplete the immune system, therefore potentially damaging your overall wellbeing.