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November 28, 2014

The Health Benefits of Laughter

Have you laughed lately?

I’m not talking about a little giggle, a courtesy laugh at a lame joke, or a mini hehe here and there.  I mean a deep down from the belly, post ab soreness kind of laugh.  The kind of laughter that makes tears run down your face and is so intense it’s contagious.  The kind of laughter that is often induced by ridiculous pictures on the Internet.  God bless the Internet.

A good laugh now and then can certainly put a perma-smile on your face; but did you know that there are other health benefits that come along with that chuckle?

Why you should laugh a little, each and every day:

  • Laughing releases endorphins. You know, those feel-good chemicals in your body!  This release of endorphins not only gives you a boost in your mood and an overall sense of well-being, but it may also temporarily relieve the sense of pain.  So the next time you stub your toe, don’t get angry or upset, just let out a laugh instead.
  • Laughing reduces stress. Who couldn’t use a little added stress relief in their life?  The act of laughing stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, both of which help to reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.  Laughter also helps to improve your mental health by easing anxiety and fear- two stress inducing emotions.
  • Laughter helps to improve your immune system. Positive thoughts  release neuropeptides, which help fight stress and potentially help prevent more serious illnesses.  Some studies have even shown that laughter and the ability to use humor may even raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body.  These same studies also found that laughter may increase the the level of immune cells in your body.
  • The social benefits of laughter. Would you be more attracted to a person who is grumpy all the time, or one who often wears a smile on their face?  Laughing not only attracts others, but it is also a great way to improve the relationships in your life.  Laughter can help to enhance teamwork, defuse conflict, and even promote group bonding.
Now that you’ve learned all about the benefits of laughter, why not get your laugh on?  Head on over to Fun, Fit and Fabulous to read Lauren’s Friday Funnies.  They are sure to put a smile on your face and fill the room with laughter.  But just in case those tidbits don’t satisfy your need for funny, feel free to enjoy the collection below.  If you’re working toward a happy, healthy life, then perhaps you should consider adding a good laugh to your daily regiment.
Where do you turn when you’re in need of a good laugh?

An Intern Behind the Plate,
~Elizabeth

Fun, Fit and Fabulous is a blog written and maintained by Lauren George, MS, CPT. Lauren is one of Around the Plate’s Healthy Eating Champions and is a member of thePlate Community. As a Healthy Eating Champion, Lauren enjoys sharing about her journey to finding balance between having fun, eating healthy, and enjoying all of the fabulous things that life has to offer. Find other healthy eating champions, nutrition experts, and recipe gurus on our community blog network.

About Intern Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a Registered Dietetic Technician, who graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Dietetics and Biomedical Sciences. She has always enjoyed eating, baking, flipping through cook books, watching cooking shows.... and well, just about anything that involves FOOD!! After seeing the improvements in her own life from eating a healthy diet and participating in regular exercise, she knew she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to help others make the same healthy changes! She looks forward to sharing with you the nutrition information she has learned throughout her schooling, while also incorporating her own tips & tricks that will allow you to use this information in your everyday life.

Comments

  1. Hi I am a high school student and I am doing a health project for school. The projects revolves around a questions that I have created. That question is “How does laughter affect my immune system?” I was wandering if you had any other possible answers to this other than what you included in your blog. Thanks for reading this! Your blog was great!