Laughing triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. And this means it actively promotes both an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve pain. But how else can it improve your life?
1) You’ll Lose Weight
The International Journal of Obesity found that laughter increases both heart rate and calorie expenditure by up to 20%. In real terms, this means that laughing just 15 minutes per day could help you burn anywhere between 10 and 40 calories, depending on the intensity of your laugh. And this equals to 1 to 4lbs of weight-loss per year.
2) Laughing Improves Your Breathing
Laughter is known to improve respiratory health, especially for those with asthma. Flushing out your lungs by making you breath more deeply, it allows you to increase your oxygen consumption and get rid of any residual air. In fact, it’s so effective, Laughter Yoga has even developed techniques to make the most of laughter’s positive side effects.
3) It Improves Your Emotional Health
When you laugh, your brain releases a cocktail of chemicals that make you feel good. Dopamine allows you to feel pleasure and process emotional responses. Serotonin puts you in a good mood. Meanwhile, endorphins regulate pain and stress while making you feel generally good. And together, these hormones alongside other physical responses from laughter are effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
4) Laughter Makes You More Attractive
The ability to make someone laugh often correlates with their intelligence ie. the funnier someone is, the more intelligent they’re likely to be. And this has been used as a premise as to why we find funny people more attractive. Alongside studies showing that men find women more attractive when they laugh at their jokes, it’s been shown that men and women with a good sense of humour tend to have more sex as well.
5) It Improves Your Immune System
When you laugh, your diaphragm, a muscle that helps you breathe, stimulates your lymphatic circulation. And this makes your body produce more white blood cells and antibodies that remove waste products, dead cells and harmful microorganisms. And all this leads to an improved immune system.
To conclude, laughter can improve your life in many ways- from relationships and emotional health to your immune system. This in mind, it’s certainly recommended to find some time each day to laugh. It could be spending time with friends, going to a comedy show, watching a funny video or even remembering a funny moment. Anything goes- as long as you crack up.