“Laughter is the best medicine.”
I’m not sure who said this, but I’d have to agree. Not only does laughter produce an overall sense of well-being, but it also directly affects a handful of serious health benefits.
Some might question these claims, however if the entire month of April is dedicated to humor they must be true, right?
You’ll be pleased to know that a study conducted by a researcher at Vanderbilt University found 10-15 minutes of laughter burns around 50 calories. Steve Wilson, MA, CSP found “The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar.” So, if you’re feeling guilty about that piece of chocolate you secretly ate after lunch, the Sneezing Panda will definitely burn a few of those calories!
Other physical benefits from a good hearty laugh:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress hormone levels
- Increases blood flow to the heart
- Boosts t-cells
- Boosts immune system
In addition to improving your physical health, laughing comes full circle and also aids in positive mental/emotional health!
Mental / Emotional Benefits
- Releases endorphins – body’s natural feel-good chemicals
- Eases anxiety
- Relives stress
- Increases memory, alertness and learning
So, if you’re feeling sluggish or down in the dumps today, take some advice from Paul McGhee, PH.D. “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have, so make certain that your daily and emotional state support good health.”
Happy National Humor Month!