Laughter: The Best Medicine

When we are stressed, tired or conflicted, we do so much to try and make ourselves feel better. While there are many ways to manage and avoid these feelings, there is one remedy that will work the fastest and bring us back to a normal balance…laughter.

Steven Wilson, MS, CSP, Physiologist and Laugh Therapist says, “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off. They might be healthier.”

Dr. Wilson is right! Over the years, researchers have studied the effects of laughter on the body and found that the ability to laugh easily and often can potentially support both physical and emotional health.

Physical health benefits of laughter can:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Improve alertness, memory and learning
  • Lower stress hormones
  • Relax muscles
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Relieve pain
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Enhance vascular blood flow
  • Provide a workout to respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles
  • Protect the body against a respiratory infection

Mental health benefits of laughter can:

  • Add joy to life
  • Increase optimism
  • Ease anxiety
  • Alleviate stress
  • Improve mood

Additionally, laughter can also boost your social behavior by:

  • Strengthening relationships
  • Improving team work
  • Helping resolve conflict
  • Promoting bonding in a group
  • Decreasing social anxiety

Needless to say, laughter makes you feel good. And that overwhelming, positive feeling stays with you even after the laughter subsides.

Laughter and smiles can go a long way, not only for you, but for others. As Lord Byron once said, “Always laugh when you can, its cheap medicine.”

So laugh it up!