Nothing can turn your day around quite like a good belly laugh. But the benefits of laughter go far beyond this. In fact, laughter is so beneficial that researchers have placed it right up there with eating right, sleeping right and getting enough exercise when it comes to overall wellness.
And while you can get a good laugh from a movie, a chuckle from the internet and a small guffaw from watching your pet, these don’t quite compare to the hearty laughter that comes from chatting with friends. So pick up the phone and rather than sending a text, call a friend. During these troubling times, there’s something very comforting in hearing a friendly voice ask you about your day.
Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of 5 benefits of laughter.
5 Benefits of Laughter
1. Stress Relief
Laughter is one of the best ways to beat stress. This is because it shuts down stress hormones – we’re looking at you cortisol – while prompting the production of feel-good hormones such as dopamine. And dopamine offers plenty of calming and anti-anxiety benefits.
2. Triggers Endorphins
In addition to releasing dopamine, laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, which have many benefits all their own, including mood-boosting and pain-reducing properties.
3. Immune System Boost
When we laugh, special cells called T cells are activated. They immediately get to work boosting the immune system and helping fight off illness. This means a good chuckle should be added to your cold prevention plan – along with plenty of rest and Vitamin C.
4. Gamma Waves
A good laugh will energize you and often provides a sense of clarity or being “in the zone”. This is because it changes your brain’s frequency by inducing gamma waves. This state, which was originally observed in those who meditate, offers peak mental and physical performance. And higher levels of gamma activity correlate with increased memory, compassion, happiness and intelligence.
5. Overall Health
There is no doubt that laughter is good for the soul, but it is also good for your overall health. Laughing has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and even improve cardiac health.
Now, laughter can’t take all the credit for these amazing benefits – after all, it is difficult to study only laughter as there are so many different factors that can trigger it. However, it is believed that the social component of laughter plays the biggest part. So along with your healthy diet and exercise plan, make time for friends and family and let the laughter roll.
If you can’t get together with friends or family, then why not schedule a virtual watch-party? A watch-party is a social gathering for the purpose of watching a specific event or programme on television. Schedule a group video chat using free tools like Whatsapp, Facetime or Skype, make a bowl of popcorn or grab your favorite move-time candy, and tune into to the comedy movie or series that won the popular vote amongst your friends.
It may not be quite the same as watching a show at the movie theater or sharing the couch with your friends, but in these challenging times where we’re self-isolating for our well-being and that of our loved oned; it’s an acceptable alternative.