Laughter Still the Worlds Best Medicine
Someone once said that laughter is the best medicine until you start laughing by yourself for no reason – then you might need some medicine.
Although some of the best laughing moments can be alone, not necessarily laughing at your own jokes, but just at watching the world go by on your lonesome. A chuckle to yourself at some one else’s harmless misfortune is personally rewarding. We all do it.
A sense of irony alongside humor is what keeps us sane through trying times – be it divorce or just the contemplation of growing old. Indeed, laughter (especially at ourselves) helps us oldies stay positive through the loss of close friends, bodily capabilities and most unfortunate of all our memory.
Of course laughing too hard or with too much surprise can cause some serious discomfort – when our joints, heart and head take sudden spikes in pain from what should be a pleasant and natural phenomenon you know you need some real medicine. But laughter is always a positive as long as it doesn’t cause a heart attack 😉
In all seriousness, there are real, practical health benefits to laughter, both physical and mental, such as the following:
- Laughter puts you in a better mood – triggering hormones in the brain called endorphins that promote mental well being.
- Laughter relaxes the body – relieving tension and relaxing our muscles, an effect which can last for up to 45 minutes post-giggle.
- Laughter decreases anxiety and stress – decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol as a result of laughing.
- Laughter protects the heart – laughing decreases blood pressure, increases blood flow, and improves blood vessel function that can help you against heart disease.
- Laughter decreases pain – endorphins relieve pain acting as a natural painkiller.
- Laughter may boost the immune system – certain studies have shown that laughing increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, potentially improving our resistance to disease.
A couple of personal jokes, humorous stories and chuckles at the world passing by everyday with friends and family is your best bet for the preventative health of body and mind. Together, with heads thrown back, mouth wide open and horseshoe of lovely teeth on display, cackling and echoing throughout the streets, we can have fun and stay healthy at the same time!