Laughter is good for the soul, they say. But, did you know it’s also good for the body as well? Research continues to discover the many ways the simple act of laughing can not only improve our mood, but also help reduce physical illnesses, and improve overall quality of life.
How exactly does laughter work its magic? Let’s start with how laughter happens in the human body through a beautiful symphony of sensory connections.
When we experience something we find funny, an electric current is triggered, and that current rushes to our cerebral cortex by way of our nervous system. Then, the left hemisphere of our brain analyzes the information while the right hemisphere translates it as humorous. Our brain’s visual capabilities create a picture of this funny thing while our limbic system releases mood-improving chemicals. And lastly, the body’s motor functions trigger a smile, a laugh, or a full-body laughing experience.
Now that you know how laughter works, here are five fantastic reasons to laugh more often, starting today:
#1. Manage blood pressure: laughter has been shown to improve blood flow and improve blood pressure, which lessens risks of heart attack and stroke.
#2. Feel better: Laughter is generally a pain-reducing practice that can also reduce anxiety and stress hormones.
#3. Laughter also increases useful chemicals in the body like endorphins (often released in exercise) and neurotransmitters (translates information between nerve cells).
#4. Create connections: laughter is a great way to connect with people and form easy connections in social settings.
#5. Laughter is a fitness aid because various muscle groups are engaged during laughter.
Go ahead, get your laugh on, and improve your mood, your physical health, and your ability to bring laughter into other people’s lives.