Lots of people talk about how laughter is good for the soul and the body, this article on the 10 Incredible Health Benefits of Laughter evidences this in a little more detail:

  1. Reduces stress hormones: When people laugh heartily and deeply, the physical exertion causes the body to release endorphins, one of the complex neuropeptide chemicals produced in the brain. Endorphins combat the excessive production of cortisol, a hormone your body releases when you experience physical, emotional, or mental stress. Consistent laughter effectively lowers the level of cortisol and other stress hormones in your blood, keeping your body in balance.
  2. Strengthens the immune system: Studies show laughter not only reduces stress it also stimulates disease-fighting changes in the body, including the production of cancer-attacking white blood cells.
  3. It promotes good mental health: Studies show that people who use humor to address stress are likely to feel less lonely and maintain a healthy level of self-esteem. More surprisingly, some studies have concluded that humor therapy is as effective as widely used antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of patients suffering from depression.
  4. It burns calories: After spending an evening at a comedy club or watching a good episode of Saturday Night Live, you might feel as if you just worked out at the gym. That’s because the effects of laughter and exercise are very similar. A researcher at Vanderbilt University conducted a study measuring the amount of calories burned while laughing, which turned out to be 50 after 10 to 15 minutes of laughter. And just like physical exercise, laughter increases your heart rate and blood circulation.
  5. Manages pain: Endorphins, in addition to making a person feel pleasant, help to manage pain. Laughter in the form of clown therapy is used in hospitals to help children cope with the pain of treatments like chemotherapy.
  6. It manages anger: Laughing can reduce tension, eliminate a perceived threat, and open up lines of communication between people, all of which help to diffuse unhealthy levels of irrational anger.
  7. It promotes and strengthens interpersonal relationships: Psychology Today reports that laughter has the capacity to restore and build couples’ relationships. Laughing not only brings large groups together, it creates and strengthens a connection between two people, showing they truly enjoy each other’s company.
  8. It’s good for the soul: Western and Eastern religions both know the value of laughter. Consider this from Proverbs 17:22: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
  9. It’s great for kids: Studies show that children laugh an average of 100 to 200 — some say 400 — times a day. Adults on the other hand average about 15 laughs a day!
  10. It stimulates creativity: Studies including one at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, show that laughter improves alertness, memory, and creativity. One explanation for this is that humor, like creativity, connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain, engaging the entire organ and creating a pleasant physical and emotional response.
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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