How many times a day do you laugh? On average, adults laugh 17 times per day, and, good news – it’s healthy to laugh! Why is laughter good for you? It’s a question that some have considered in the past and others may have never thought much about. When you realize the varied benefits of having laughter in your day, you may seek out small moments of happiness wherever you find them.
Whether you’re laughing at a television show, a cartoon in the newspaper, or something else – it does your body good. Laughter is a subconscious signal that we’re in a state of relaxation and safety, says Professor Sophie Scott from University College London.
“It’s a sign if people are laughing that they’re not in that anxious state. It’s a marker that the group is in a good place”.
Researchers found that when our brains are relaxed, we more easily achieve free idea association, which can lead to creativity.
For example, showing people stand-up comedy before asking them to do tricky puzzles helps them experience more flashes of inspiration, which allows them to correctly solve up to 20% more problems.
Robert R. Provine, a neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, says in his book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation: “Laughter is the quintessential human social signal. Laughter is about relationships.”
Not surprisingly, scientists recommend leaders allow more time for socializing and humor in the team.
How Does Laughter Relieve Stress?
One of the main benefits of laughter is its ability to relieve stress. Having a chuckle or two offers several short-term benefits. While you might feel more mentally happy after you start laughing, that’s only the beginning. Laughing can also create physical changes within the body.
For instance, laughing can stimulate your organs. You take in more oxygen which can invigorate the muscles, lungs, and heart. This also increases the number of endorphins that are released from the brain, so you stay happier longer.
Laughter also helps pump up your stress response and then bring it back down. The activation and release can increase but then decrease your blood pressure and heart rate, so you feel more relaxed. Laughter also stimulates muscle relaxation and circulation to cut down on stress.
There are also long-term benefits. Laughing can improve your immune system, help relieve pain, make you feel more satisfied with life, and put you in a better mood. When someone asks, “why is laughter good for you?” all of these benefits play into the answer.
Laughter Provides Both Physical and Mental Benefits
When answering why is laughter good for you, the answer lies in both physical and mental health. While kids laugh hundreds of times a day, adults often are more serious and laugh far less frequently. Finding reasons to laugh can make you happier, strengthen your relationships, and help your health.
Mental Health Benefits
There are many ways that laughter can help with mental health. Laughter makes people feel good, and this stays with you even after the laughing is done. Finding humor in your life can make you more optimistic, which may make it easier to get through loss and disappointments.
- Adds happiness and joy to your life
- Strengthens resilience
- Lowers tension and anxiety
- Improves the mood
- Helps relieve stress
Physical Health Benefits
It isn’t only mental health that can be improved by laughing. Having a few chuckles can also make you more physically healthy. A few of the ways it does so are listed below:
- Prevents heart disease
- Boosts immunity
- Relaxes the muscles
- Lowers stress hormones
- Decreases pain
How to Bring More Laughter to Your Day
You can now answer the question: Why is laughter good for you? But you might be wondering how to incorporate that into your life. There are all sorts of ways to do so, and many of them don’t even take up a lot of time. Instead of laughing a dozen times like many adults, try to rack up hundreds like a child.
Adding laughter to your day is essential. It doesn’t have to be challenging. It could be as simple as turning on a fun comedy TV show every evening after work. It will rack up those laughs that help your health and make you feel more joyful. The same can be done by listening to a funny podcast or watching silly videos on YouTube.
Another option is to spend time with friends. We often find ourselves telling silly stories that make us laugh. The same applies to engaging with pets or kids. They’re sure to do something funny to make you laugh. Regardless of how you do it, make time for laughter in your life.
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