By Bulbul Beri
We have all heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine.” When we are laughing, we are truly living in the moment, not worrying about the past or future. We experience joy, release our happy hormones, and benefit our health simultaneously.
Six-year-olds laugh on average 300 times per day, but most adults are lucky to laugh just 15 times per day!
When we are adulting, we have many responsibilities and worries about health, relationships, career, finance, the state of the world, etc… We often get so caught up in these responsibilities and worries that we forget to have fun along the way. When we forget to laugh, life becomes mundane, joyless.
Research shows the following health benefits of laughing often:
- burns calories
- reduces inflammation
- reduces the levels of stress hormone cortisol
- increases happiness
- has a positive effect on mental health
- boosts the immune system
- reduces anxiety
- reduces physical pain
- lowers blood sugar levels
Dr. Lee Berk Associate Dean, Research, School of Allied Health Professions has spent nearly three decades studying the health benefits of laughter. He says:
“Mirthful laughter, as opposed to nervous or embarrassed laughter, promotes the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and has a cascade of beneficial physiological changes conducive for happiness — happiness being dopamine, serotonin, endorphins. Happiness is the optimal immune system responsivity.”
Meet your friends, pay attention to the funny things people around you say and do, especially little kids. Observing your pets make sense of the world can be super cute and funny. Watch comedy shows and stand up comedy. Search you tube for funny videos, such as the one below.
Just take out some time regularly to have a good belly laugh. Laugh loud, laugh long and laugh often. It’s good for your health and guaranteed to make you feel good.