Health Benefits

LY AHS  Poster 2014 6-24-14
Have you ever heard the old adage “He who laughs, lasts”? Well, as it turns out, it’s true! Current scientific evidence has shown that laughter not only improves our overall health, happiness and sense of well-being, but increases our life expectancy as well; here’s how.1. Laughter strengthens your immune system and promotes healing.
Your immune system protects your body from threats to its well-Being like a virus or infection, even cancer. Laughter increases the number of “killer cells” and antibodies in your body. It not only helps you to get sick less often, but heal much faster if you do.2. Laughter is good for your heart.
Laughter thins blood and blood vessels, improves circulation and acts as a vascular dilator. It also lowers blood pressure. Ten minutes of hearty laughter has been shown to produce a 10 to 20 mm drop in blood pressure that lasts for 20 minutes after the laughter stops. It has also been determined that people with heart disease are approximately 40 percent less likely to laugh than those without heart disease.3. Laughter may help to prevent type II diabetes.
Recent research indicates that laughter may have an affect on the regulation of certain gene expressions that help to control Type II diabetes. It also decreases food cravings by giving the same stimulation as eating 2,000 chocolate bars!

4. Laughter alleviates bronchitis and asthma.
Laughter improves lung capacity and oxygen levels in the blood. It eases bronchial spasms, opens airways and helps to clear phlegm.

5. Laughter is an intense aerobic workout.
Laughter has been found to be equivalent to any other aerobic workout. In fact, 1 minute of rigorous laughter, or approximately 100 “ha ha has” has been shown to have the same cardiovascular benefits as a 10-minute workout on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on a stationary bike. That’s right! You can burn approximately 400 calories an hour just laughing!

6. Laughter is a great stress buster.
Laughter reduces levels of neuroendocrine and stress-related hormones in our body (e.g. cortisol, epinephrine, dopac). It is a natural relaxant. Think of the last time you laughed so hard you cried. Do you remember the feeling of peace and inner calmness you had afterward? Laughter provides a playful pathway to physical and emotional relief.

7. Laughter is a natural painkiller.
Endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, are released when you laugh. The more you laugh, the better you feel.

8. Laughter relieves depression, anxiety and addictions.
Laughter increases the production of “feel good” neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine) and the “happy hormone” or “hormone of love” (oxytocin) in the brain. It focuses your awareness on happy feelings in the here-and-now while distracting you from any negative thoughts, emotions or behaviors. Laughter is a natural high.

9. Laughter enhances brain functioning.
Laughter activates higher cortical functioning while improving mental clarity, focus and concentration.

10. Laughter is internal jogging.
Laughter massages internal organs while improving digestion and elimination.

11. Laughter is a challenging abdominal workout.
Laughter is a great “abdominizer!”

12. Laughter lifts your spirit and soothes your soul.
It isn’t what life gives you, but how you respond to in that is the difference that makes the difference. Laughter helps you en-lighten up by not taking yourself, or your life, too seriously. It fosters spiritual awakening, love and connection with the divine. Angels can fly because they take things lightly! Live life laughing.

Nov 18, 2009 | By Dr. Cindy Solliday-McRoy