Most of us don’t readily associate laughter with doing something productive or constructive. To the contrary, many people justify their disregard of humor by convincing themselves that they “don’t have time for it.” After all, if you want to “go somewhere in life” you’ve got to be serious about things, right? Well, not all the time. Studies indicate that squeezing in a good laugh here and there is actually much more than fun and games, as it can actually have measurable beneficial effects on your health and wellbeing. With that said, here are four major reasons why everyone should try to spend more time laughing:
1. Reduces Stress
Research has indisputably proven that stress is linked to a heightened chance of developing a wide range of disorders, as people who lead stressful lives are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses of all kinds. Science has proven that laughter directly reduces the level of “stress hormones” in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of developing new diseases while also improving the prognosis of existing conditions. In fact, surveys have shown that people who regularly browse humor sites like LOL Hit have better responses to stress than those who rarely enjoy comedy.
2. Enhances Mood and Memory
Did you know that even a fake smile or forced laugh has the ability to stimulate the feeling of happiness? Thus, just by making an effort to smile and laugh more you’re taking control over your moods in a positive manner. Furthermore, when you’re in a good mood you’re more likely to make healthy food choices versus when you’re in a depressed, junk food eating state of mind. In addition, learning new things while experiencing a strong emotion is the best way to retain information, so laughter has the ability to strengthen memories that are formed during or around the time of laughter.
3. Boosts Immunity and Fights Cancer
The stimulatory effect that laughing has on the respiratory, cardiac, and hormonal systems all combine to increase the development of T-cells and antibodies. By increasing the number of pathogen-fighting cells in the body, laughing provides a direct and immediate boost to the immune system. As if the benefits never end, you’d be surprised to learn that laughter also increases the level of interferon-gamma (IFN), which in turn stimulates NK cells, B-cells, and immunoglobulin – all of which play a crucial role in the body’s natural defenses against cancer and other degenerative diseases.
4. Enjoyable Exercise
Many people dread the idea of going to the gym or enduring a home fitness regimen, but laughing is so fun and easy that it doesn’t even feel like a workout, and yet it provides an excellent exercise for the diaphragm, abdominal muscles, back, shoulders, and even legs. If you’ve ever burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, then you know just how physically demanding it can be when you’re struggling to pull yourself together.
Heightened Creativity and a Better Social Life
Aside from the measurable medical benefits of laughter, it goes without saying that sharing a good laugh is a great way to improve your social life and spur bouts of creativity. People with a strong sense of humor are not only more likely to have plenty of friends, they’re also typically more creative than people who don’t rate humor as one of their best attributes.