Laughter. It Does the Body Good.
While laughter can’t cure disease, it can relieve your stress which is key to being healthy.
“Laughter has many short-term and long-term effects on the body,” says Dr. Jacqueline Sze, Psychiatrist at The Scarborough Hospital. “It relaxes you, which is great for your overall health, and it can even help improve your immune system. But overall, when you laugh, you’re happier and you tend to have a better outlook on life.”
Laughter can improve your health and overall well-being by:
- lowering your blood pressure
- increasing your blood flow and oxygenation of your blood
- providing a workout for your diaphragm and your abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles
- reducing certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
- increasing the response of tumour and disease-killing cells
- defending against respiratory infections and even reducing the frequency of colds
- increasing memory and learning; studies have shown that using humour during instruction can lead to increased test scores
- improving alertness, creativity and memory
Here are some tips to put laughter in your daily routine:
- Find photos or comic strips that you find funny. Post them at your desk or somewhere at home where you’ll see them often.
- Watch a funny movie, television show or listen to a comedian you like.
- Find humour in your own situations.
- Spend time with people who make you laugh.
So when you feel stress, find some ways to put some laughter in your day. After a while, you’ll notice your muscles will be less tense, your mood will lighten and you’ll feel more relaxed.
It really is great medicine.