7 Ways that Laughter is Good for your Health

Bone-Healthy Living / Research / January 7, 2014

Your Guide to Idiopathic Osteoporosis

Two old men in a retirement village were sitting on a park bench and one said to the other, ”How do you feel? I mean, you’re 82 years old, how do you really feel?”

”Honestly, I feel like a newborn baby,” says the second gentleman.

“Oh? How’s that?” asks the first gent.

“I’ve got no hair, no teeth, and I just wet myself!”

I hope that joke gave you a bit of a chuckle, because that little bout of laughter can be very good for your health. And who doesn’t want to be more happy? Below are a list of reasons why laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

1. Laughter actually improves your quality of life

It’s been proven time and again, if you’re laughing, you feel better all over. Chances are, the two gents in the joke above are actually doing ok, incontinence aside. By finding a way to laugh everyday, we enjoy life more. This sounds obvious, even though some of the longer term effects of laughter are hard to quantify in medical studies.

Experts agree however with the positive effects of a good laugh to your life and overall health: “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist.

In addition to the joy it brings with it, there are physiological responses to laughter that would suggest that it’s good for the body.

2. Blood flow

When you laugh, your blood vessels expand and contract in a healthy way. Compare this to when you’re stressed, when blood flow is more constricted, and soon enough you’ll be reaching for the Three Stooges DVD box set as a prescription.

3. Immune Response

Some studies have shown that the ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells. As mentioned above, stress has an adverse effect, so laugh more!

4. Blood Sugar Levels

This one is especially relevant to diabetes sufferers: Watching a comedy and laughing causes lower blood sugar levels than watching an intense drama. If this isn’t a good enough excuse to watch more Golden Girls reruns, then I don’t know what is.

Image by Chris Hunkeler on Flickr

5. Relaxation and Sleep

Provine says that the most convincing health benefit he’s seen from laughter is its ability to dull pain. Numerous studies of people in pain or discomfort have found that when they laugh they report that their pain doesn’t bother them as much. For many this can mean the difference between restlessness and peaceful sleep.

6. Laughter’s Effect on others

The poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox said it best: “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone.”

Laughter is infectious, which really reinforces the maxim that it is the best medicine. After all, it is so easily shared. Share a laugh, and maybe more laughter will be shared with you.

7. Laughter makes you more attractive

You don’t need a scientific study to prove this one; we find people more compelling and attractive when they are enjoying themselves. Plus a lifetime of having your photo taken has taught you that you look better smiling.

With all of this evidence (and a few studies to help as proof) you hardly need to seek a prescription from your doctor for more laughter.

And, as Provine notes, somewhat hilariously: “I certainly wouldn’t want people to start laughing more just to avoid dying — because sooner or later, they’ll be disappointed.”

Having a good laugh is a great antidote for many of life’s challenges. But one thing it can’t do is reduce your risk of fracture. But AlgaeCal Plus, especially when combined with Strontium Boost, definitely can!

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