The Medical Benefits of Laughter

Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” We couldn’t agree more. After all, people laugh the same in any language. It is a universal social emotion that exists across all boundaries, in every culture on Earth. No matter where in the world you find yourself, where language may fail, laughter will always be instantly recognized and understood by all human cultures.Everyone loves a good laugh. Even the crankiest of personalities will have the occasional eruption. Why? Because it feels good, it relieves tension and it instantly connects us to one another. Interestingly, it also goes well beyond the psychological and emotional benefits. A good snort and chuckle can have a variety of healthy physical side effects:

  • Laughter boosts the immune system by increasing the number of cells that produce antibodies.
  • Laughter lowers blood pressure. It increases at first, but then stabilizes at a lower level.
  • Laughter is a natural workout for the diaphragm and can facilitate digestion.
  • Laughter activates both sides of the brain, which increases alertness and memory retention.
  • Laughter elevates the mood by increasing circulation, easing muscle tension and releasing psychological stress.
  • Laughter naturally helps combat depression by triggering the release of endorphins.

So, you see laughter is a life saver! And as Charlie would say, you shouldn’t waste a day without it.

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(From the writings of Michael Flocker)

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