Wellness Laughter

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Here are five reasons why it’s important to literally laugh out loud.

December 20, 2016

Is it possible to laugh your way to better health?

It’s funny how we always text, “LOL,” but never truly laugh. We all do it, and most of us just use it as a reaction, keeping the mood of a message light. But laughter can be taken for granted, and the need to laugh forgotten — so here are five reasons to remind you why it’s important to literally laugh out loud – as often as possible:

1. Laughter is the best medicine

It’s a saying you’ve heard countless times, but any doctor will tell you that laughter is incredibly beneficial for your health. When you give your hearty ha-ha’s, blood pressure and heart rate rise, and drop below normal shortly after. Thus, laughter revives blood circulation and increases oxygenation, making it heart disease’s No. 1 enemy.

Laughter boosts the immune system by activating T cells, which fight off microorganisms, and it reduces the production of stress hormones like cortisol. 
It also releases endorphins, your brain’s natural painkillers. Research has suggested that people who laugh frequently require less pain medication after surgery. With this in mind, investing your time into cat videos or reading memes on your phone can actually be a healthy habit — as long as you’re literally LOLing.

2. Laughter is a universal language

No matter our birthplace, language or cultural differences, laughter is understood and shared by everyone on the planet. It is one of the few instinctive forms of communication that connects us all. Sharing laughter gives us a clear indication that people are enjoying the current social situation, which, in turn, leads to more positive relationships. And while Aristotle may have said that laughter is what separates us from the beasts, recent evidence suggests that we’re not alone in the animal kingdom in our need to laugh.

3. Laughter helps you stay in control

Ever been in a hopeless situation and couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity? If so, you’re on the right track! Stress can be a nightmare, especially when it revolves around factors like our jobs or relationships. Laughter is the ultimate coping mechanism for stressful days and hard times.

Although it can seem as if the world is falling apart, laughter helps us assume control by allowing us to feel less overwhelmed. It shifts that perspective of hopelessness into a more positive light. And here’s even more good news: Science suggests that faking laughter may have just as much health benefit as the real thing. So even if you’re not in the mood, you can still give yourself a boost.

4. Laughter keeps you young

Along with benefiting your health, laughter helps you look your best. According to studies, human growth hormone increases by 87 percent with laughter. HGH is what fuels childhood growth and helps maintain tissues and organs throughout life. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but really, you’ll age more slowly by having a great time. And that’s a beautiful thing.

5. Laughter makes you creative and more productive

Creativity is all about thinking outside the box, but it is rather difficult to do that when you’re defensive about what people think of your ideas. Laughter breaks down those walls of judgment and criticism. When everyone is cracking jokes and lightly making fun of each other, it creates a comfortable, healthy environment where you feel anything can be said.

Laughter also makes you want to work harder. Think about the workplace. If you have to go to a job that makes you feel drained and apathetic, your performance will most likely not be optimal. An environment where smiles and laughter are common practice makes us happier to apply ourselves.

To leave you with a closing thought, here are some one-liners to give you some inspiration next time you’re in the office.