Laughter is a universal language. Babies can laugh before they learn to speak, and in some cases, laughter can be contagious. Even smiling is a mild, silent form of laughing. Laughter can relieve stress, and laughing for 15 minutes each day burns about 10 to 40 calories.
A good chuckle can’t cure everything, but research has shown that laughter:
- Lowers blood pressure by expanding blood vessels
- Boosts your immune system by decreasing stress hormones
- Is a natural pain killer because it increases endorphin levels
- Improves brain function and stress levels by easing muscle tension
- Tones facial muscles and nourishes the skin, making it glow
To help increase the amount of laughter in your life, try following these healthy tips:
- Be aware of humorous moments in each day, and don’t take yourself too seriously
- During dinner with family, share something funny that happened that day
- Watch funny movies and television shows
- Reflect on funny times in your past
- Pay attention to children, and be more like them – they are experts on playing, taking life lightly and laughing
Your health is no laughing matter, so take some time to relax, smile and crack a joke. You’d be surprised by how much a little laughter will boost your mood and benefit your health.