5 Surprising Impacts Laughter Has on Health

Laughter is often coined as “the world’s best medicine” and that’s because it has an incredible correlation to positive health benefits. Think back to the last time you had a really good laugh. How did it make you feel? It’s safe to assume that at the moment, you felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and relief. Oftentimes, we adults get too caught up in the day-to-day stressors of life to let ourselves kick back and have a good laugh.

Science shows that on average, healthy children laugh up to 400 times a day while adults only laugh 15 times a day. That’s an impressive statistic and we adults have to remember that laughter isn’t just for children. Getting in touch with your comedic side will connect you to your inner child, improve your emotional wellbeing, and promote health benefits. 

5 Impacts Laughter Has on Health

Reduces Stress Hormones

If you’ve ever noticed yourself feeling significantly less stressed out after laughing, know that it’s not just in your head. Laughter actually reduces our stress hormones and promotes relaxation. Stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine are lowered when we are genuinely laughing due to the oxygen flow caused by the act. Not only does laughter reduce our stress hormones, but it also increases the level of healthy hormones such as endorphins. Endorphins make us feel euphoric and are known as our “feel good” hormones. Feeling stressed out lately? Try turning on your favorite comedy or telling funny stories with your friends.

Relieves Pain
Remember how we mentioned that laughter increases endorphins? Endorphins don’t just make us feel good mentally - they also impact our physical sensations. Endorphins help to relieve muscular tension, meaning that laughter really can relieve our pain. Swiss researchers conducted a study on laughter and pain and found that laughter increases our pain tolerance. While laughing may not make your pain disappear forever, it’s certainly worth giving it a shot. Laughter makes us feel good all over and time spent laughing is never wasted. 

Boosts Mental Health
The benefits of laughter don’t stop at physical health - mental health is also incredibly boosted by it. We tend to feel better when we’re laughing as laughter promotes endorphins. We already know that laughter reduces stress, but that isn’t the only mental benefit it offers. Laughter improves our mood, decreases anger and stress, decreases symptoms of mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression, and more. Laughing also connects us to our inner child, so if you’re working towards healing your inner child, try having a good laugh. It even strengthens our social relationships as laughing with someone boosts our connection to them. If you find yourself having a bad mental health day, try laughing it off with friends or family and see how much better you feel afterward. 

Strengthens Immunity
Did you know that laughing can make you healthier? Science shows that laughing boosts our immune systems - which means we’re less likely to become ill. It does this by increasing the number of t-cells and anti-infection antibodies in our bodies. We have to mention endorphins again here as increased endorphins reduce cortisol and other stress hormones. Excessive amounts of cortisol can weaken our immune system, so keep those stress hormones at low levels. A fit of laughter a day could very well keep the doctor away. 

Laughter Improves Cardiac Health
Laughter isn’t just good for the mind, it’s also good for the heart. Laughing increases our breath rate while also causing us to breathe deeper, which means that more oxygenated blood is circulated throughout the body. This alone improves our vascular function, which helps prevent heart attacks and heart disease. Laughing also lowers our blood pressure by the release of more endorphins and decreased cortisol. A healthy heart is the key to living a long, fulfilling life, so get to laughing!

Laughter has many benefits to our physical and mental health. Whether it’s improving your emotional health or reducing your pain, laughing is definitely something worth doing. Remind yourself to take some time out of your busy schedule to get in some good laughs to promote a healthier, happier life.