As I have mentioned in previous columns, it is a true medical fact that both laughter and humor truly do have a positive impact on our health. Let us now take another look at the impact of laughter on each of us and how it can be very helpful in so many ways. As recently reported by the Mayo Clinic, a good sense of humor with laughter can offer significant stress relief and laughter also offers both short and long-term health benefits.
Let us first take a look at the short-term benefits of laughter. A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter does indeed stimulate many of our internal organs. Laughter enhances our intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates our heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases healthy hormones that are released by our brain.
Laughter will certainly relieve our stress. A good healthy laugh will tend to cool down our stress response, and it will also initially increase and then decrease our heart rate and blood pressure. Of course, the result of this healthy laugh will give us a good, pleasant relaxed feeling. Laughter has been proven to soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Now let us also take a look at the long-term effects of laughter. Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, because it has also been shown to be good for us over the long term. For example, laughter has been shown to improve our immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release our hormones that help us to fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.
Laughter has also been shown in numerous studies to actually relieve pain. It is believed that laughter may ease our pain by causing the body to produce its own natural internal painkillers. Laughter will also increase our personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps us connect with other people. As we all know, laughter can certainly improve our mood. Many people also experience depression, and laughter can help lessen the feelings of depression and anxiety and will often make a person feel happier.