It's No Joke...Humor Has Amazing Health Benefits

By: Vaughn Greene Funeral Services
Monday, August 7, 2017

Nature’s best medicine. We all love to have a good laugh, but did you know it can actually improve your health?

There’s ample research that supports the health benefits and healing power of humor. Hospital stays are shorter and recovery is better when patients watch comedies and read humorous books. Laughter triggers healthy physical and emotional changes in the body: it strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.

Laugh your way to a longer life. As children, we laughed hundreds of times a day, but as adults, we tend to take life more seriously and laughter becomes less frequent. But by seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, you can improve your physical and emotional health, strengthen your relationships, and find greater overall happiness. Nothing works faster or more consistently to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. In fact, a study conducted in Norway found that people with a positive outlook and good sense of humor outlived their more serious counterparts. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

Here are 10 of the many ways that laughter is good for your health:

  1. Boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  2. Triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. They promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  3. Relaxes the body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving muscles relaxed for up to 30 minutes.
  4. Increases resilience. People who are resilient are happier and more successful. Laughing at our mistakes allows us to recognize that making errors is a part of being human.
  5. Fights depression. Being unhappy can become a mindset if we don’t get outside of ourselves occasionally. Research indicates that laughter is a great way to find relief from the downward spiral into depression.
  6. Manages pain. People who laugh often don’t experience less pain, but they report being less bothered by the pain they do feel. The amount of pain remains the same, but perceived pain levels are reduced as coping mechanisms increase.
  7. Protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  8. Burns calories. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories, which could be enough to lose several pounds over the course of a year.
  9. Tones muscles. Laughter engages the body’s diaphragm and abdominal muscle systems during the repetitive expanding and contracting that occurs when we laugh for an extended period of time. Facial muscles are also exercised, much like they are when we sing.
  10. Lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh.
Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Live Stream Funeral Etiquette: Eight Things You Should Know

Live streaming allows mourners to take part in memorial ceremonies at any time, from anywhere. For a variety of reasons that extend beyond the COVID-19 health crisis, it isn’t always possible to ...

The Most Common Funeral Planning Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Planning the funeral for a loved one is a solemn responsibility that’s filled with emotion. It may add to the stress and deep sorrow you are likely already feeling, particularly if you have to dea...

How to Get Over the Guilt of Grief

Guilt is a common emotion following the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you feel remorse over how you treated your deceased parent or friend before they passed. Or maybe a close family member is mak...

Practical Tips for Dividing Your Loved One’s Possessions

When a loved one passes away, figuring out what to do with their belongings is stressful for most families. Many times, it’s not the expensive things that are problematic. Keepsakes like family p...

Here’s Why You Should Avoid Making Major Decisions While You’re Grieving

The passing of a loved one is among life’s most stressful events. The shock makes even small tasks and minor decision-making particularly difficult. Given the severe emotional and physical toll t...

How to Help Your Child Understand Grief and Loss

Talking about death is a difficult conversation to have with your child, but it's one of the most important. For adults and children alike, grieving is a critical part of accepting loss and saying...

What do Aging Life Care Professionals™ Do?

The graying of America has created the need for a new dimension in life care advocacy. Many people feel overwhelmed when an aging family member needs care. Should my mother age in place or move t...

Do You Know the Meaning of These Popular Funeral Flowers?

People have long expressed their condolences by sending flowers. This gesture is a wonderful way of showing love, support and concern for grieving family members. While the general message of sympa...

Sinai Hospital Creates a Family Space with Support from Vaughn Greene Funeral Services

  "Vaughn Greene Funeral Service generously donated support to Sinai Hospital to create a warm and welcoming space for family members to grieve the loss of a loved one. Within our service d...

What to Say (and Not Say) to Those Who are Grieving a COVID-19 Loss

The COVID-19 pandemic is robbing us of many things. Chief among them is physical connection while social distancing measures remain in place. Although hugs are sidelined and public funerals are not...