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4 Surprising Health Benefits of Laughter

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We all know that laughter feels good, but did you know laughter could have a positive impact on your health? It turns out; there’s a reason people say, “laughter is the best medicine.” Research shows that laughing on a regular basis may have powerful physical and mental health benefits. Here are four great reasons to have a good laugh today.

Release endorphins

Laughter is known to trigger the release of endorphins, which can have a positive effect on our mood. Often called “feel-good” chemicals, endorphins are produced naturally by the brain. When released, endorphins produce feelings of happiness and well being and may even provide temporary pain relief. 

Reduce feelings of stress and anxiety

A good laugh can be a great form of stress relief. Laughing increases the production stress-relieving chemicals in our body such as dopamine, while simultaneously decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The physical action of laughing increases oxygen intake, which can serve to relax muscles and reduce overall tension. Reducing stress may also boost immunity and decrease the risk of experiencing anxiety and depression.

Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all common senior health risks. Laughter may prevent these risks by improving blood oxygenation and regulating circulation, which in turn decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Along with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, recent research suggests that laughter may play an important role in improving heart health. 

Improve social bonds

Laughter is inherently social, making it an essential part of any relationship. The contagious effect of laughter can bring us closer to friends and family, strengthening our social ties and even helping to resolve conflict or tension.

The health benefits of laughter are especially significant for older adults, who may experience senior health issues such as chronic illnesses and weaker immune systems, as well as loneliness, isolation, or depression. Making time for fun, relaxing activities like playing with a pet, hosting a game night with friends, or simply watching a funny movie or TV show are easy ways to add more laughter to your life every day.

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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