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Why Laughter Could Be the Best Medicine

When it comes to our health, it’s important to eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest … and laugh often.

That’s right, a healthy lifestyle should include lots of laughter. Laughter may do more than help us feel better—it may actually be good for our health! For older adults, a good laugh could be a helpful remedy for a number of ailments, and is a wonderful way to bond with loved ones and friends. While laughter is terrific way to feel better instantly, it may also help you become healthier.

Laughter May Deliver Physical Health Benefits

There are many reasons you feel so great after a good laugh: For starters, laughter helps us forget our worries, and it may provide other noticeable health benefits, too.

Laughter might not only help lower blood sugar, but it could also help you relax and sleep better. It may increase immune system responses, and may have a positive impact on the function of our blood vessels. Researchers found that after watching something funny, our blood vessels expand and contract easily; in comparison, when we watch something dramatic, the blood vessels tense up and restrict blood flow.

Having a laugh or two each day should be as important as taking your daily vitamin and medicine, so be sure to incorporate some good chuckles into your wellness routine.

Laughter Aids in Reducing Stress

Like most health regimens, laughter may help our bodies become stronger , especially when it comes to stress reduction. A healthy dose of daily laughter exercises your body’s internal organs, the results of which leave you feeling more prepared to handle and bounce back from stressful situations.

Laughter helps your body take in oxygen, which is vital to all of your organs, especially your heart, lungs and muscles. Your muscles relax when you’re laughing, which helps reduce stress.

It’s a great idea to write down a funny joke or two, carry an amusing picture in your wallet, or save a hilarious comic from the newspaper. When you’re feeling stressed, just one look at something funny could leave you feeling better within minutes.

Laughter Helps Us Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Laughter is a great way to stay in a positive mindset, slow down and enjoy life. One of the best parts of life is noticing all of the funny things around us, which can leave us feeling better in an instant. There are also plenty of comedy specials, movies, TV shows and books that you can enjoy when you are in the mood for a good laugh, or when you need an uplifting mood booster.

It’s also important that we learn to laugh at ourselves as well. We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, and a great technique for feeling your best is to revisit some funny moments from your life. Whether flipping through a photo album or journaling about life, there are surely silly stories that could bring you back to the moment and leave you giggling all day.

Laughter Is Best With Friends and Family

Of course, like most things, laughter is best when shared with others. Socializing is good for our minds and bodies. In particular, spending time with family and friends may reduce the risk of depression . Add in laughter and the benefits for your mental health are buoyed further.

The next time you have a conversation with someone, why not start it off with, “Can I tell you a funny story?” or “What’s something that makes you laugh?” You’ll be sharing stories and jokes and laughing together in no time!

Hilary Young Author

Hilary Young is a writer dedicated to helping older Americans live healthier, more fulfilling lives. You can find her on Twitter as @hyoungcreative.

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