If you are feeling a little tense or stressed, or just generally not feeling 100%, consider watching a silly sitcom or heading out to a comedy club. There is an old saying that “laughter is the best medicine,” and this is true in more ways than one.
Whether you are just being goofy with friends or watching the newest comedy movie in theaters, having a little giggle or a great guffaw can actually help your body and is good for your health. Consider the following ways that a good laugh can be good for your mind and body:
Reduces Stress and Promotes Relaxation
It is not a coincidence that you feel less stressed and more relaxed after a good laugh. After a long day at work, if you head to a comedy club or just exchange some laughs with friends at a bar, you can probably feel the stress dissipating and your body starting to relax.
You are probably aware that cortisol, sometimes called the “stress hormone,” is the culprit behind your tension, but did you know that laughing can actually help your body regulate cortisol? The act of laughing increases oxygen intake, stimulating circulation, which helps to lower cortisol levels. Stress also causes your muscles to tense up, and relieving that stress through laughter can actually relax your muscles.
Boosts the Immune System and Helps the Heart
As you already read, laughing increases the oxygen in the blood, which also has the added benefit of improved heart rate. Other heart benefits of laughing include improving how the blood vessels function and improving blood flow, both of which can help protect against cardiovascular disease.
The stress-reduction benefit also helps to improve the immune system. Laughing increases antibodies, which help fight infection, giving your immune system a bonus boost.
Pain Relief and Mood Enhancement
Laughter has the additional benefit of causing your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are known to increase general well-being, contributing to mood improvement, as well as provide pain relief or increased tolerance to pain.
Laughter is also known to lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also possibly help overcome challenging situations and diffuse angry or tense situations or conflicts.
Overall, it is clear that there are many benefits to comedy, including many benefits for your health. These benefits are so good that you may be compelled to seek out comedy and a good laugh in purposeful ways. You may choose a comedy over an action movie, or you may choose a comedy club on Friday night instead of a restaurant.
You may even go so far as to include comedy as your entertainment for parties or celebrations by hiring a comedian like Chaunte Wayans. However you decide to incorporate more comedy into your life, knowing that it will have positive effects on your physical and well as your mental health in such various ways as reducing stress, improving your immune system, and even possibly boosting your mood.