One of the best feelings in the world is the deep-rooted belly laugh. It can bring people together and establish amazing connections. Everything from a slight giggle to a side-splitting guffaw can change the temperature of a room from chilly unfamiliarity to a warm family-like atmosphere.
There is so much to love about laughter that it seems greedy to look for more, but that’s exactly what researchers Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at the Loma Linda University in California have done. These two doctors have researched the benefits of laughter and found amazing results. Get ready to get your giggle on!
1. Laughing lowers blood pressure
People who lower their blood pressure, even those who start at normal levels, will reduce their risk of strokes and heart attacks. So grab the Sunday paper, flip to the funny pages and enjoy your laughter medicine.
2. Reduces stress hormone levels
You benefit from reducing the level of stress hormones your body produces because hormone-level reduction simultaneously cuts the anxiety and stress impacting your body. Additionally, the reduction of stress hormones in your body may result in higher immune system performance. Just think: Laughing along as a co-worker tells a funny joke can relieve some of the day’s stress and help you reap the health benefits of laughter.
3. Fun ab workout
One of the benefits of laughter is that it can help you tone your abs. When you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs. Meanwhile, the muscles you are not using to laugh are getting an opportunity to relax. Add laughter to your ab routine and make getting a toned tummy more enjoyable.
4. Improves cardiac health
Laughter is a great cardio workout, especially for those who are incapable of doing other physical activity due to injury or illness. It gets your heart pumping and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace. So, laugh your heart into health.
5. Boosts T cells
T cells are specialized immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. When you laugh, you activate T cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness. Next time you feel a cold coming on, add chuckling to your illness prevention plan.
6. Triggers the release of endorphins
Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers. By laughing, you can release endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over.
7. Produces a general sense of well-being
Laughter can increase your overall sense of well-being. Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. So smile, laugh and live longer!
Originally Published: http://life.gaiam.com/article/7-benefits-laughter
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