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April Fools- The Benefits of Laughter Back
April Fools (and Happy Easter!)! There are many benefits of laughter- that is no joke. Laughter is universal; no matter your age, the language you speak or your physical or mental abilities, you can laugh. Laughing is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy.
Did you know that laughing triggers a number of positive physiological responses such as:
- Relaxation of the entire body, relieving muscle tension and stress
- Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, drop and minimize pain and inflammation throughout the body
- The release of endorphins, natural feel-good substances that make you feel happy and content and have been proven to reduce the perception of physical pain
- Reduction in blood pressure combined with a moderate increase in the heart rate and improved blood circulation and oxygen intake
- The stimulation of the immune system thanks to the release of T-cells and salivary immunoglobulin A which is triggered by laughter.
Not only does laughter promote a positive outlook on life, it has the ability to protect individuals from depression and anxiety. Laughing has proven to help prevent the onset of many physical and mental illnesses, humor is also emerging as one of the most powerful medicines for chronic and degenerative conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. Most importantly, laughter is good for the heart.
You are never too young or too old to have a good ol’ laugh. Do things that will bring you enjoyment and leave you with a smile like:
- Watch a funny movie or TV show.
- Go to a comedy club.
- Read the funny pages.
- Seek out funny people.
- Share a good joke or a funny story.
- Check out your bookstore’s humor section.
- Host game night with friends.
- Play with a pet.
- Go to a “laughter yoga” class.
- Goof around with children.
- Do something silly.
- Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).
Laughter is key to a happy life so make the most of it. Enjoy Easter/April Fools Day and be sure to laugh as much as possible!