It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine. But how often do we actually enjoy a proper belly-aching laugh with our caregivers? For many people, when caring for aging loved ones, we sometimes forgo setting time aside to go out with friends, have a good laugh and simply enjoy ourselves.
But according to doctors, a chuckle a day, can actually keep stress at bay. It may seem like a small gesture, but if done on a routine basis, laughter has been shown to have positive results on one’s overall health and well-being.
Below, Freedom Home Care lists a few of the most beneficial effects that a simple guffaw has to offer.
Engages and Relieves Stress Response:
The stress response or fight or flight response happens as a result of a perceived threat and, in turn, raises the heart rate. Laughter initiates this response, but also calms it down, leaving you feeling more peaceful and relaxed in the end.
Arouses the Organs
Laughter helps spark the muscles, heart and lungs, while boosting endorphins released by the brain.
Acts as a Pain Reliever
Researchers say that laughter can aid in stimulating the body’s own natural painkiller.
Boosts the Immune System
Chemical reactions in the body can cause stress and weaken the immune system. What we think and how we feel are largely affected by the nervous system. Neuropeptides help connect perception in the brain to the body and emotions. Laughing and affirmative thoughts help release neuropeptides that ward off stress and other more serious conditions.
Guards Against Heart Attack
Laughter increases blood vessel performance and blood flow, while decreasing the chances of cardiovascular disease.
Helps You Burn Calories
Studies show that laughing 10-15 minutes a day could help burn about 40 calories every 24 hours and result in three to four pounds shed each year.
Ever been in the middle of a disagreement only to burst into laughter over something funny the other person does by accident? Being able to laugh off negative feelings keeps bitterness and resentment at bay.
Improves Your Mood
Finding the humor in everyday things lessens the chances of depression and improves your overall disposition.
Laughter brings people together. It doesn’t matter your age, title or background. Laughter transcends differences.
There’s nothing like sharing a laugh or reliving old memories with loved ones, while building relationship bonds with family.
Here are a few ways to bring more laughter into your life:
Go to a comedy show
Find funny television shows
Spend time with others who love to laugh
Play games with a grandchildren