A Laugh a Day Keeps the Blues Away

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A good laugh does a world of good for your body and mind.

I love to laugh, and really, who doesn’t? It’s physical, cathartic, and generally uplifting, plus it’s fun (unless you’re being tickle tortured, that’s not fun). Laughter is one of the most mysterious functions of the human body. Even modern scientists haven’t managed to completely nail down why humans laugh, but what they do know is that it’s really good for you. A hearty laugh can create all sorts of beneficial effects within your body.

As you may expect, laughter is healthy for your mind, both physically and emotionally speaking. Laughter triggers the release of pleasurable endorphins in your brain, which improve your mood, help you regulate stress, and can even promote minor pain relief. Laughter is also good for lessening stress and anger, which are bad for you, and can also help you empathize and socialize with other people better. As they say, laughter is infectious; you may find it easier to find common ground with a stranger once the two of you have shared a proper laugh.

In addition to your mental health, laughter is great for your physical health. Laughter relaxes your muscles and relieves physical tension. This, in turn, can promote better blood circulation and boost your immune system. Laughter actually improves the functionality of your blood vessels, which improves your heart health and increases your protection against heart attacks. Laughter even burns calories. Not to the extent of a proper work out, of course, but a total of 15 minutes of laughing a day can help you lose more weight over the course of a year.

Studies have even shown that laughter promotes a longer, healthier lifespan. Those with a strong sense of humor have been repeatedly known to outlive those without one, even in dire cases such cancer patients. So if you want to have a longer, healthier, and just generally more pleasant life, then remember to have yourself a good laugh every day.