Laughter Improves Overall Health

The old saying “laughter is the best medicine” really does ring true. Dr. Cynthia M. Thaik, author of “Your Vibrant Heart,” writes: “Laughter is similar to a mild workout: A good laugh contracts your abdominal muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleeping patterns and boosts the immune system by increasing the number of T-cells in your body.”

Since laughter is so good for you, she also shares some ways to add more of it to your life. It starts with knowing that mistakes will inevitably happen, but don’t let them stress you out.
As Dr. Thaik puts it: “In fact, if you can laugh lightheartedly at your own foibles, you’ll find that you give yourself that extra happiness and confidence boost that can get you over any hurdle. This also extends to other people.” When times get tough and your stress level is on the rise, she suggests finding something humorous about the situation. Recalling funny memories with friends can help pick you up when you’re feeling low.

Her advice is to spend time with people who also look for the good and laugh a lot, since research shows that their positivity might just rub off on you. Dr. Thaik concludes by writing: “If you can find a reason to laugh every day, you’ll find that your mood will improve, your relationships with others will seem more meaningful and effortless, and life’s hurdles won’t seem so daunting. Moreover, your body, mind and soul will reap the health benefits of this natural and free medicine.”

Psychology Today, 1/20/14

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