It is hard to imagine a world without laughter. Laughter is synonymous with physical and mental well-being. Laughter brings people together and facilitates communication between equals and differents. It is a universal language par excellence.
And more and more scientific studies are confirming the beneficial effects of laughter on our heart, our immune system, improving pain tolerance and many other areas. Laughter is without a doubt the best medicine to live a long and dignified life (!and it’s also free!)
So check out these 10 benefits of laughter to live longer and better.
1. Improves Pain Tolerance
Various studies confirm the effectiveness of laughter not only as an element to distract us from pain, but also as a tool to reduce and better tolerate the painful effects of injury or even chronic illness.
A study published in the journal The Royal Society found that increased pain tolerance was caused by laughter itself, and not just a change in positive affect, and its effect on our endogenous endorphin system.pain-relieving chemicals in our body). Laughter has proven to be a very effective natural pain reliever. Also, we know that the people who laugh the most they tolerate pain better (up to 10% more).
2. Stress management
Laughter is the enemy of anxiety and stress, and that’s something we can all see every day.
Who hasn’t tried to put their worries aside with a good comedy or after dinner with a juicy meal and lots of laughter with their colleagues? Research has shown that When we laugh, endorphins and dopamine are released., while there is a significant reduction in cortisol, a stress-related hormone, that causes that pleasant feeling of relief. There are times when the most effective stress relief formula is just to laugh out loud.
3. Improves the immune system and prevents diseases
Scientific evidence also suggests that laughter has a number of positive effects on our defense system against pathogens. In research conducted at Loma Linda University in California, researcher Lee Burke found that watching a comedy video can significantly boost the immune system. Burke’s research also showed that decrease in cortisol what happens when we laugh causes an increase in antibodies that fight infection, so-called cytokineswhose function is to regulate the activation of cells of the immune system, as well as natural killer cells responsible for the search and destruction of malignant cells.
4. Improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system
When it comes to the heart, several scientific studies have shown the beneficial effects of laughter on our cardiovascular system. A study by the University of Maryland concluded that people who have had an acute myocardial infarction tend to laugh up to 40% less than those who did not suffer from any cardiovascular disease. In another similar study, a group of participants were exposed to comical and stressful situations, such as watching films of various genres. By analyzing their physiological responses, the researchers found that people who watched humorous films had a higher blood supply, leading to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, it seems that a healthy and strong heart is the best guarantee of a long and happy life.
5. Produces an “antidepressive” effect
Those who have gone through the process of grieving or depression, unfortunately, know very well how difficult it is to face it day in and day out. Likewise, most of us are aware of the benefits of laughter and a positive attitude when we are coping with the most difficult moments of this type of mental illness. Laughter reduces tension and stress, reduces irritability and contributes in a certain way to the reduction of depressive symptoms, causing a person to feel well-being and calmness.
6. Improves breathing
Laughter frees the lungs from more air than they take in, which produces a “clearing” effect similar to that of deep breathing. This is especially useful for people suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma. In a study published in the journal Lung, researchers showed that a good sense of humor is associated with better emotional functioning and a higher quality of life in patients with chronic lung disease.
Another study also concluded that Laughter reduces air retention in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The pinching causes the lungs of COPD patients to become too large and not work properly, resulting in increased breathlessness, especially with physical activity. So in this case, laughter is a real “breath of fresh air” for them.
7. Improve social relationships
Laughter can become contagious and is a great social glue. When we are in a positive mood, we are more likely to attract people with the same mood. In this way, we also improve the quality of our social interactionsas we not only reduce stress levels, but also help others relax and be in tune with our positive mood.
In addition, laughter can also improve our intimate relationships; Who hasn’t reconciled their partner with a good joke or a clever phrase? Humor is without a doubt a powerful communication tool that promotes social relationships.
8. Promotes Calorie Burning
Incredibly, laughter can help us lose weight. One study examined the effect of genuine laughter on participants’ heart rate and energy expenditure. The results were surprising: sincere laughter caused an increase in calorie expenditure and heart rate by 10-20%, which means that laughter for 10-15 minutes a day can lead to energy expenditure of up to 10 kcal. It’s not much, but it’s a good reason to break out a few times a day (and say, by the way, that you’re getting in shape).
9. Improves Cognitive Function and Memory
Several studies have shown that laughter can improve cognitive function and short-term memory in older adults. In particular, it was found that watching humorous films or videos can improve learning ability and delayed retention. These results show the importance of incorporating humor into rehabilitation and holistic wellness programs designed for the elderly.
10. Promotes Good Mental Health
Laughter is not only a good way to make social connections, but also to get to know yourself better and boost your self-esteem. The ability to laugh at ourselves is the best sign that we accept ourselves for who we are.with our strengths and weaknesses.
Laughter can ease our suffering during difficult times and help us overcome life’s obstacles. When all seems lost, sometimes laughter helps us distance ourselves. and deal with the day-to-day with great calmness. And this will ultimately help us live longer and better lives.