Giggle, chuckle, tee hee, lol, crack up, ROTF, yuk, even LMFAO. Regardless of what you call it, do it. April 14 marks International Moment of Laughter Day and we’re here to say, LAUGH!
Is laughter actually good for you? Yup! Just think about how good it feels when you’ve had a good chuckle with your friend. Your belly hurts, you tear up, and you just have an overall sense of happiness. If that alone doesn’t tell you it’s good for you, then you’re probably doing it wrong.
When we laugh, our body changes from a physiological standpoint. Think about it, your muscles in your face (and body) start to stretch, your pulse increases and your blood pressure also goes up. You start to breathe faster which sends more oxygen to your tissues. This is a very similar reaction than exercise has on the body (but don’t replace exercise with laughing). But if you need actual physiological reasons, we’ve got ‘em too.
- Endorphins. Laughing releases endorphins which is your body’s natural “feel-good” chemical. Endorphins promote temporarily relieve pain, and provide a sense of well-being, and well, happiness. And if you don’t believe us, take it from Elle Woods from Legally Blonde.
- Natural immune boost. Laughing also decreases your stress hormones and increases your body’s infection-fighting antibodies. This translates to your body being a little more resistant to diseases.
- Relaxation. Think about how incredibly relaxed you feel after you’ve shared a good, long, hard laugh with someone. After your stomach stops hurting. After you’ve wiped away those tears of laughter. Laughing has been proven to relieve physical tension as well as stress, and leaving you relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
- Heart-healthy laughs. Because a good, hearty laugh increases blood flow and improves your blood vessels’ functionality, this can ultimately help keep your heart healthy by protecting against heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.
- Good for the mind. Not only is laughing good for the body, it’s great for your mental health as well. Laughing helps improve your mood, it relieves stress, helps ease anxiety and fear and it’s just simply, fun.
The moral of the story? Stop taking things so seriously and take a moment to enjoy a little laugh today and every day. Make it part of your daily routine. Tell someone a joke, watch a funny movie, or watch dogs play at the park. Regardless of what makes you laugh, make sure you enjoy every second of it.