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How laughter can help with your mental health and more.

How laughter can help with your mental health and more.

They say "laughter is the best medicine", but have you ever wondered where this infamous idiom came about and if it can perhaps be at all true?

Whether it's laughing at a joke your friend told you or a night of giggling at home to one of your favorite comedic TV shows, a good laugh is actually quite healthy for you. There have been a multitude of medical studies that seem to show that laughter is a natural remedy when it comes to your mental health.

But what's the connection you ask? Well, studies have shown that laughing automatically triggers positive changes both mentally and physically. It also encourages relaxation of your mind. During the physical act of laughing, your body responds with numerous short and long-term health benefits.

Short-term health benefits

  • Stress relief - laughter can increase/decrease your heart rate and blood pressure by activating your stress response mechanism, resulting in the feeling of relaxation and calmness.
  • Organ stimulation - a significant increase of oxygen-rich air occurs during laughing which then stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles. This leads to your brain releasing endorphins - hormones that induce the feeling of pleasure and a relaxed mind.
  • Tension release - Laughter can also aid in the stimulation of blood flow and this enhances muscle relaxation. When your blood circulation is rapidly stimulating you could begin to feel a calming sensation in your body that then releases any form of tension and stress.

Long-term health benefits

  • Immune system boost - Laughter can assist with the reduction of physical symptoms that stress by stimulating circulation and aiding in muscle relaxation. When you are laughing there is a brain chemical that is release called neuropeptides. This chemical is responsible for fighting anxiety, stress relief and other mental conditions. When you have positive thoughts it assists in building your immunity.
  • Bettering mood - Laughter can help decrease your stress levels, fight against depression and anxiety and may make you feel joy and have a more positive, "feel good" mindset afterwards.
  • Rest and relaxation - Laughter expands the air space in your lungs, which helps with the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is extremely beneficial for humans and their sleep. Also because you are less stressed when you are laughing your body can feel more relaxed as your mind can "switch-off" easier before bed.
  • Pain relief - The body can produce a natural painkiller when one is having a good laugh.

Laughter is the best medicine so it seems. A good sense of humor is wonderful and natural way to de-stress, relax your body and mind and overall achieve a happier life.

Source: WebMD

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