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12 Amazing Benefits Of Laughter!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

We have probably been hearing the phrase ”Laughter is the best medicine”, ever since our school days and it was then that we put it into practice laughing a hundred times a day. With all the stresses and tensions that surround our growing up into adults, laughter seems to have become infrequent and life more serious. We often forget that laughter is actually an antidote to this very stress, pain and conflict which works the fastest to ease our minds and bodies. Humour not only elevates our mood but also increases our focus and alertness. It connects us with those around us, releases our anger and allows us to forgive sooner. And the best part it’s free, fun and easy to use.

Health Advantages of Laughter:

  1. It builds up your immune system: A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggested that people who laugh often show a decrease of stress-related hormones and an increase in the number of activated T cells and natural killer cells, both of which boost the immune system.
  2. Laughing instantaneously increases blood flow to the all-important organ of the human body – The Heart.
  3. According to a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers found that the simple act of laughing which releases the feel-good endorphins into the body along with the deep breaths helps relax the muscles and aids in pain relief.
  4. Laughter is powerful as it helps burn calories. Researchers have found that laughing for about 10-15 minutes a day, helps burn approximately 40 calories. All the more reason to laugh regularly!
  5. It lowers your blood pressure and helps your blood vessels to function better.
  6. It decreases stress and anxiety.
  7.  It helps fight depression. Although you may not feel like it, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that laughter helps ease your symptoms.
  8. Laughter may possibly prolong your life. People with a good sense of humour outlived others who don’t laugh nearly as much, according to a Norwegian study. For cancer patients, the difference was very noticeable.
  9. Laughing benefits the immune system. It reduces stress hormones while increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, boosting overall infection resistance.
  10. One of the ways your body may effectively regulate cortisol is through laughter. Laughing boosts oxygen intake, which improves blood circulation and lowers cortisol levels.
  11. A good belly laugh works out the diaphragm, the abdomen, and even the shoulders, leaving the muscles more relaxed afterwards. It also gives your heart an excellent workout. Laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on the exercise bike.
  12. Laughter causes your lungs to expel more air than they take in, which has a cleansing effect similar to deep breathing. This is especially beneficial for patients who have respiratory problems, such as asthma.

From what I have gathered based on studies, I can say that laughter may hold remarkable benefits for your well-being. It has been found that laughter may have the ability to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels while simultaneously increasing levels of HDL, often referred to as the ‘good’ cholesterol.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Social Benefits of Laughter:

  • Playful communication and humour strengthen relationships by fostering emotional connection and triggering positive feelings. Sharing a good laugh with family and friends induces relaxation and reduces stress. Spending quality time with your loved ones while sharing fun activities leaves you feeling positive and brings you closer to them and strengthens the bond.
  •  Laughter is the key to keeping your relationships exciting and fresh. Sharing other emotions only builds strong and lasting bonds, but laughter also adds to the joy, resilience and vitality of life. Humour is an effective and powerful means of healing resentments and disagreements. It brings people together even during difficult times. Laughter is contagious and the more you bring it into your life the happier you and those around you will be.
  •  It strengthens relationships. Shared laughter, especially that comes from spending time with family and friends not just helps you connect face to face with them but also leaves you happier and relaxed.
  • It resolves conflicts and disagreements whether with your partners, family, friends or co-workers. Learn to use humour in a way that builds up your relationship with others rather than breaking them. It is also a good way to build confidence in the workplace.
  • Incorporating more play and humour into daily interactions can improve the quality of your relationship with your partner, as well as your communication with friends, family and co-workers. Using laughter and humour in relationships enhances teamwork and promotes group bonding.
  • A good sense of humour allows you to be more spontaneous – it gets you out of your head and away from your troubles. Laughter helps you look past your doubts, judgments and criticisms.

A study I came across, discovered that laughter might have a significant inhibitory effect on the rise in blood glucose after a meal in patients with diabetes. Attending a comedy show resulted in lower blood glucose levels compared to a monotonous lecture. This suggests that laughter might help regulate blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes, emphasising the importance of incorporating laughter into their daily routine.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Ways You can bring Laughter in your life:

  1. Smile: It is the beginning of laughter. Practice smiling. Instead of being lost on your phone, look up, smile at the people you pass on the streets, the person serving you your coffee or a co-worker you meet in the elevator. Like laughter, a smile is contagious too. You will see the effect it has. Read more about the benefits of smiling.
  2. Count your blessings: Think of all the positive aspects of your life. This will help block all the negative thoughts.
  3. When you hear laughter, move towards it.
  4. Surround yourself with fun, playful people. Be around people who have the ability to laugh at themselves as well as life’s absurdities. Such people find humour in everyday things. Their energy and playful attitude are contagious.
  5. Bring Humor into your conversation.
  6. Stimulated laughter can be just as beneficial as real laughter. Join a laugh yoga or laugh therapy group.  Hearing others laugh, even for no apparent reason, often triggers genuine laughter.
  7. Try to find laughter in a serious situation. When confronted with a dangerous or difficult situation, experts advise adjusting your perspective. If you can shift your perspective to a more optimistic one and find humour in more serious circumstances, you’ll be better able to combat the tension and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the negativity and stress of it all. Make the problem appear less serious to make it simpler to find a solution.

I might have some great news to share! According to a study, it has been found that laughter, beyond just being a distraction, might actually reduce how sensitive you are to discomfort. This means that laughter may have the potential to be a valuable strategy to reduce discomfort in medical settings.

Dr. Smita Barode, BAMS

Create Opportunities to Laugh: 

  1. Watch comedy movies, shows and videos.
  2. Read funny stories.
  3. Invite your friends or family to a comedy club.
  4. Play with a child.
  5. Do something silly.

Develop Your Sense of Humour:

  1. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  2. Remember funny things, jokes, stories. Write them down or best, share them with people.
  3. Attempt to laugh at situations.
  4. Keep out the negative people and thoughts.
  5. Nurture your inner child. Laugh at ordinary things.
  6. Don’t go a day without laughing. Like exercise, meditation and food, make it a conscious effort to laugh every day.

The ability to laugh, enjoy and have fun benefits you in more than one way. It helps you solve problems, connect with others and also increases your creativity. When depression haunts your mind, life problems weigh you down and you take life too seriously. It is difficult to think out of the box, laughter takes you to a higher place where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive and joyful perspective.

Also Read: 7 Different Relaxation Techniques for De-stressing

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

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