Everybody knows it feels good to laugh! But, did you know the benefits go beyond your mood?
Oxford researchers found a good belly laugh causes the body to release endorphins, which produce a calm feeling and an overall sense of wellbeing.
And, a hearty laugh can be a workout of sorts. “We change physiologically when we laugh,” says R. Morgan Griffin, who writes for WebMD. “We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.”
Laughter may offer some of the same benefits as physical exercise. Researcher William Fry claimed it took him 10 minutes on a rowing machine to get his heart rate up to the same level it reached after just one minute of hearty laughter. And a Vanderbuilt researcher found 10 to 15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories!
The Mayo Clinic reports laughter’s benefits may go beyond the short-term. Research seems to suggest that laughter may:
Improve your laughter quotient
Laughter may be great medicine, but that prescription can be harder to fill if you are middle-aged or older. Scientists at the University of Glamorgan, UK, discovered that people over 50 seem to laugh less. It may be because they have more reasons to worry or complain than those who are younger.
If you’re among the chuckle-challenged and getting less laughter when you need it most, don’t lose heart! Here are a few ideas to help you improve your laughter quotient:
While it may be true that laughter can’t cure all that ails us, one thing is certain — it can’t hurt! We would all do well to find our funny bone any way we can, and live, love, LAUGH!
“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” — Woody Allen
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