The Health Benefits of Laughter

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Filed Under: Stress Management, General Health
Last Reviewed 06/25/2014

Laughing Couple on BicycleWe all talk about being stressed and some of us are familiar with the adverse affects of stress on the body. But did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month and it’s also National Humor Month? It’s definitely appropriate that the two coincide since humor—and more specifically laughter—is one of the best natural ways to manage stress.

As it turns out, National Humor Month was established back in 1976 by Larry Wilde, Director of the Institute of the Carmel Institute of Humor. Wilde’s reason for starting National Humor Month was to spread the message that the health benefits of laughter are extremely powerful. I couldn’t agree more. 

Positive emotions put us in a better frame of both mind and body. But relieving stress is just one of the many health benefits of laughter. Studies have shown that other health benefits of laughter include: Increased production of white blood cells, better blood pressure and heart rate, and reduced tension.

How to Reap the Health Benefits of Laughter

Making a point to laugh (ideally every day) is easier than you might realize. Here are six ways to reap the health benefits of laughter:

1.      Enjoy the comics section of your local newspaper

2.      Buy a cartoon-a-day calendar and start each morning with a chuckle

3.      Go to a comedy club

4.      Rent your favorite funny movie

5.      Read a book of jokes

6.      Tell humorous stories of your past to your children and grandchildren

Now it’s your turn: Do you have other ideas for getting a daily dose of the health benefits of laughter?

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