Physical benefits of laughter
Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” -Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.
•Laughter brings about the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body which help to make us feel good, have a sense of well-being, and can actually help to bring about a reduction of both depression and pain when they are present.
•Norman Cousins, in his book, “Anatomy of an Illness” (1979) states that he was able to overcome a crippling disease, ankylosing spondylitis, by laughing. He stated that laughing heartily for ten minutes per day allowed him to sleep for two hours per day pain-free.
•Smiling and laughing is a great relaxant. Watching funny movies or humorous events actually creates relaxation and helps to altar our mood.
Not only does stress seem to melt away but other physical benefits such as blood pressure and heart rate, digestion, the immune system, and muscle tension as well as many other bodily processes, tend to improve.
•Immunity improves when laughter is increased. The number of immune cells increase and stress hormones tend to become decreased in number. This combination will boost our immune systems.
•Laughing is fun. Be sure to find the laughter game, called “The Ha Game,” on our Natural Stress Relief page. It really will make you laugh whether you participate or choose just to watch.