Laughing doesn’t just feel good; it also helps us burn calories. While enjoying a hearty laugh, our heart rate increases by ten to twenty percent, which also increases our metabolism. Laughing also lowers cortisol levels, a function that controls our body’s post-meal metabolism and stashes fat in the midsection of the body.
According to Juliette Kellow’s article Laugh Yourself Slim, laughing for 15 minutes a day can burn between ten and forty calories a day depending on your weight and height. This is enough to burn one to four pounds per year. While losing calories is one benefit that comes from laughing, the more you incorporate laughter on a daily basis you are likely to feel less stressed, be happier and have an energy boost in your daily activity.
“Laughter is believed to be beneficial to patients because it reduces anxiety and stress, renders pain manageable and bolsters the immune system,” Marshal Brain said in his article How Laughter Works.
Many of us know that the act of laughing seems to feel good to us and we believe it is a good thing to laugh. Laughter actually helps produce more T-cells and globulins that benefit our immune system. As well as stimulating our catecholamine hormones in order to release endorphins (our natural feel-good chemicals) in our body which is what gives us an enjoyable mental sensation. Laughter also decreases pain, relaxes your muscles and helps prevent heart disease, according to the article “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” Increasing our blood flow and improving the functions of our blood vessels creates a healthier heart and is exactly how laughter helps the heart.
In our social circles, laughter plays an important role in creating bonds and connecting individuals to others. Using humor and laughing makes us more attractive to others and also promotes teamwork. Additionally, the contagiousness of laughter makes it an easy activity to be involved in. Laughter allows a more positive and optimistic outlook in tough situations. By spreading the joy, you are able to create a fun and less stressful environment. Having a sense of humor and enjoying a laugh with someone else adds excitement and joy to any relationship.
A simple smile, reminding yourself of the good things in your life, spending time with playful people and incorporating humor in your life itself are all things that help improve laughter and create an optimistic outlook. Making time for fun, enjoyable activities in our busy schedules is an important thing to do. Ways in which people can create laughter are simple. Activities such as watching a funny movie or TV show, going to a comedy club, reading the funny pages, seeking out entertaining individuals, sharing jokes or a funny story, shopping in a bookstore’s humor section, hosting a game night with friends, playing with a pet, enjoying some playtime with children and simply doing something new help you to loosen up, appreciate the good things in life, and reap the benefits of happiness.
There are other outside tools for getting a good laugh in. One example is laughter yoga classes. These classes are offered at gyms such as LifeTime Fitness. Laughter yoga classes involve unconditional laughter with yogic breathing tactics. It is the idea of spreading laughter with others and learning also how to control breathing in a healthy way. Therapists also are trying to incorporate laughing in their counseling sessions with patients. Being able to acknowledge a funny moment is good for our well being, both mentally and physically.