Laughing Your Heart Out

We have all heard the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine”. What we rarely realize is the ageless truth behind these words. Laughing more often really does benefit our emotional and physical health. Like an apple a day, laughter too keeps the doctor away. If you find yourself in a fix and you ask yourself “how to be happy?”, the answer is – laugh it all away! Really. Fake it till you make it! The reasons to laugh more are innumerable. Below are a few of them.

1) Laughter improves your emotional well being.

The brain’s emotional centres are triggered by laughter. Serotonin and endorphins, which regulate pain and decrease stress, are released, giving you a feeling of euphoria.

2) It improves your social life and betters your relationships.

People who laugh more are the ones who are more confident and comfortable with social situations. Happy people are always a delight to be around. Social situations and deadlocks can be broken with humour and good-natured comedy. Friends are made over jokes. It strengthens friendship, family and fellowship and reinforces a group identity. The same goes for romantic and marital relationships.

3) Laughter is highly contagious.

Mirror neurons are responsible for conjuring a smile on your face when you see someone else smile. For reasons similar to why laughter can establish group dynamics, laughter is very contagious, like a disease but a good one, which spreads through and engulfs you to make you a happy, confident, admired person.

4) It is very beneficial for your respiratory system.

Laughter can regulate your lungs and wind pipe, flushing out the blockages and ridding your lungs and lobes of residual air to replace it with fresh, pure oxygen. This improves respiratory health and helps you breathe deeper, shielding you to an extent from respiratory ailments like asthma. Laughter’s impact on health has led to the development of laughter yoga and laughter clubs where people laugh out loud without any apprehensions. This recharges the mind and body and brings in calmness, energy and focus in a person.

5) Laughter Is A Weapon Against Depression.

“How to be happy?”, a depressed person often asks himself or herself. Being unhappy or remorseful can become a pattern and soon a lifestyle choice if not taken care of. Laughter is responsible for the release of several hormones, neuropeptides and dopamine which can lighten your outlook and make you feel happier.

6) Laughter strengthens your immune system.

Stress-related incidents can affect our immune system. Activities that are mundane and frustrating like the car not starting, the web page not loading or the traffic not moving can instil despair and anger, which can negatively impact your immune system. Laughter influences your endocrine system and protects you from diseases by strengthening your immune system.

7) It lowers anxiety and stress levels.

Laughter and humor are elements of resilience. They help you cope with everyday difficulties; they moderate an adverse impact on your health and physiologically and psychologically invigorate you. It is beneficial to see the lighter and positive side of a grim situation – it is a coping mechanism. Similarly, laughter’s contagious nature helps in fighting stress related syndromes and problems. Laughter basically brightens any situation.

8) It makes you look good.

Literally. Studies have proved that men prefer women who laugh at their jokes, and women prefer men with a good sense of humour. A person is most beautiful when he or she is laughing – why else do we pose with smiles for our social media profile photos? Studies have also indicated that your chances of getting hired are enhanced if you have a healthy sense of humour.

9) Laughter triggers efficiency in the working of your circulatory system.

When you laugh, your blood vessels’ tissues dilate and expand, allowing more blood to flow into them. This maintains steady flow of blood throughout your body and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, protecting the heart at the same time.

 

Photo Source: stux