How laughing can improve your health

laughing-coupleWhen a dark moment turns bright because of laughter, you’re likely to hear the age-old adage that laughter is the best medicine. That old cliché just might be true. Laughter isn’t just good for your soul; it’s great for your health, too.

Some studies show that laughter and humor may have some good health benefits. Mere seconds after you’ve encountered a funny moment, your brain begins to react. The left side of your brain dissects the information that you’ve just encountered while your right brain comprehends, or “gets,” the joke or funny antic.

That moment of laughter can translate into a series of health benefits. Check out how laughing and humor is good for your health:

Fights infections. Laughing may help fight against those nasty upper respiratory infections. As you laugh, your body increases the number of disease-fighting antibodies, making that common cold rear its ugly head less often.

Lowers your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, laughing can most certainly benefit you. Studies have shown that laughter can help decrease blood sugar levels. The study evaluated a group of diabetics who were fed a meal then attended a lecture. The next day, the group ate the same meal but watched a comedy show. The group’s blood sugar levels were lower after laughing.

Decreases stress hormones. Laughing is a wonderful way to relieve stress and tension. Not only does it lift your mood, it also helps to decrease stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Reducing your cortisol levels may help with your weight loss goals.

Controls pain. If you know someone who is sick or experiencing pain, find a way to make them laugh. Laughter can provide a distraction from the pain and allow the fear to subside. Laughing also releases endorphins that may help an individual cope with pain better.

Brightens your well-being. Finding ways to laugh throughout the day can increase your overall well-being. Studies have shown that laughing helps to promote greater memory recall and increases creativity and alertness. If you’re feeling a little sluggish, find a way to bring some laughter into your day.

So it’s OK to laugh a little. Actually, laugh a lot. Find ways to connect with family and friends to make some happy memories that you’ll remember and laugh at for years to come.

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