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7 Ways Laughter Benefits Your Body

It really is the best medicine.

Doesn’t it feel amazing to laugh? Laughter is one of the most relaxing, mood-enhancing activities on the planet, but it can have all sorts of awesome benefits to improve your health and overall wellbeing. Here are a few of the best health benefits of laughter — all good reasons for you to find things to chuckle about today.

1. Boosts Mood-Enhancing Hormones

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters that can enhance your mood. Not only that, but your threshold for pain will increase, which means that laughter acts like a pain-dampener or painkiller. Endorphins trigger an opiate-like experience in your brain (without all the nasty side effects) that can help to reduce anger and anxiety and improve your mood.

2. Reduces Stress Hormones

Laughter decreases the production of cortisol, the hormone triggered by stress, along with other “stress” hormones. These hormones can have harmful effects on your body, as they can cause imbalances in your normal internal functions, cause low-grade inflammation, and affect your immune system. Thanks to laughter, you can reduce the levels of these hormones and thereby improve your overall health!

3. Enhances Immunity

Did you know that laughter has a direct effect on your immune system? Laughing can stimulate the development of antibodies, and they’ll actually grow faster thanks to the shift in hormones caused by laughter. With more antibodies, your body will be better able to fight off infection and disease. Regular laughter can also make your T-cells (white blood cells) more effective.

4. Improves Oxygen Intake

As you laugh, you suck in a lot more oxygen than normal, which means your blood is infused with oxygen to transport to your muscles, tissues, brain, and organs. Laughing can stimulate an increase in blood flow to your brain and all around your body, and that oxygen-rich blood will boost your brain health.

5. Modulates Blood Pressure

Yes, laughter is a great remedy for high blood pressure! Laughing helps to lower your blood pressure, thereby reducing your risk of cardiovascular problems. There is an initial rise in blood pressure as you laugh, but the subsequent drop in blood pressure helps to restore healthier heart function. Thanks to laughter, you can prevent cardiac disorders and heart disease.

6. Fights Cancer

That’s right, laughter can fight cancer! Laughter increases the levels of interferon-gamma, which stimulates T-cells, B-cells, immunoglobulin, NK cells, and regulates the growth of new cells in your body. By increasing the levels of these cells, you make your body more effective at fighting off cancerous cells before they grow into tumors. Plus, these cells also play a role in your immune function.

7. Boosts Memory

Laughter not only delivers more oxygen to your brain, but it actually makes things easier for you to learn and remember. Laughter broadens your brain’s ability to form connections and associations, helping you to learn more complex things with less effort. You’ll have an easier time recalling those things because they’re linked to laughter and humor.

Yes, you definitely want to spend more time laughing every day. It just makes you healthier and happier overall!

[Image via iStock/Getty]

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