Can you remember the last time you had a good laugh? Believe it or not, laughter is actually very healthy for your body, and your mind. Laughing more can help improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. Laughing can help relieve stress, decrease blood pressure, burn calories, alleviate pain, improve our relationships, help ward off germs and so much more, not to mention it just feels so good. The average person experiences laughter for the first time around 3 or 4 months old. It’s contagious. Laughing is so good for your body, and your mind, that just hearing someone else laugh is enough to trigger a reaction that makes you want to laugh as well, it’s almost like an involuntary reflex.  

Studies have shown that sharing laughter can help to build stronger, and more positive, bonds with people in your life. Even in relationships, laughing together can create even more closeness and supportiveness. Laughter can help you lose weight by exercising several muscles including your diaphragm, abdomen, and shoulders. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that 15 minutes of genuine laughter burns up to 40 calories. Laughing increases blood circulation for all major organs, most importantly the brain. Laughing exercises the heart and can increase blood circulation so much to your face that it can actually help your look younger.

Laughing helps to suppress, or reduce, the level of hormones associated with stress, and increase the amount of healthy hormones that are released. It even helps your immune system by increasing the release of endorphins, which help in relieving pain, and can even help boost your mood. Some medical experts even use laughter therapy in some cases of cancer and other chronic illnesses.

So how do you just decide to laugh more? Try to find new ways to laugh every day. Spend more time with people who laugh more, or even children, who naturally laugh more often than adults. Treat yourself by searching out funny books, movies or television shows. Seek out funny people, do something silly and try to find more humor in challenging situations, especially those that give you stress.  Before you know it, you’ll look, feel and act younger and enjoy life more too.