Today is April 1st. Today is day when you and your friends and family might play tricks on each other. Did you know all the health benefits that are associated with laughter? First, here are some facts about laughter from the University of Kentucky. A child laughs an average of 300 times a day, whereas adults, most of whom are ages 18-34, only laugh 17 times a day; laughter happens most when people are together. So don’t isolate yourself!
It’s nothing to laugh at, but laughter is a calorie burner! Yes, laughing ten minutes each day burns about the same number of calories as a half-hour workout does. A 10 to 15 minute hearty laugh can burn as many as 50 calories! (Griffin, n.d). Laughter helps to reduce stress through many pathways. Laughter stimulates deep breathing which the brain and body tissues love. This stress relief, in turn, will help to relax the muscles and helps with sharper mental function. The reduction of stress from laughing also keeps one’s blood pressure in check (Whipple, Calvert, 2008). The benefits go beyond this.
Laughter is a great treatment for depression and the moody blues. So if you ever feel sad or depressed just spend more time with your funny friend, or look up jokes, or a funny cartoon such as Chicken Little, Chip N Dale, or Foghorn Leghorn. Cancer patients who received laughter therapy showed decreased levels of depression and anxiety before their cancer treatment (Demir, 2015).
Laughter strengthens the immune system by initiating the response of the immune system’s antibodies and other immune cells. Laughter also promotes more restful sleep and relieves minor aches and pains (Griffin, n.d).
So why not laugh more? It’s free, healthy, and never hurts. Okay, well if you laugh long and hard enough your sides and stomach may hurt J (Griffin, n.d). But hey! A workout that strengthens the abs is sought for often at the expense of your wallet. So why not save yourself some time and money by laughing more? Doing so increases the quality of life! (The Top Ten Benefits of Laughter, n.d).
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