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The Importance of Laughter

A recent study showed that the typical adult laughs 15-45 times a day where as a child will laugh on average of 300 times per day.

Benefits of laughter:

-Lowers blood pressure even for individuals who are in the healthy ranges. Laughing reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Laughter also improves blood vessel function and increases blood flow.

-Reduces stress hormone levels which can result in a stronger immune system.

-Tones the abdominal muscles in a much more relaxed fashion than crunches.

-Laughter is considered a cardio workout; gets your heart pumping and burns similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.  

-Increases T Cells; these specialized immune system cells lie dormant in your body. Once you start laughing the T cells are immediately put into action and fight off illness.

-Releases Endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers.

- Overall laughter can increase your sense of well-being.  Studies have shown that individuals with a more positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than those who are more negative.

The benefits of laughter for the brain are astonishing as well. Humor helps the limbic system regulate dopamine levels. Dopamine is often referred to as “the reward hormone”; it’s a neurotransmitter that regulates motivation, attention, learning, and mood. A Stanford research team reported back in 2003 that funny cartoons activated a cluster of areas in the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system controls our basic emotions and drives.

It’s safe to say that laughter is very important.  Shared laughter strengthens relationships and allows you to let go of any negative feelings while allowing you to also say what you mean.  Not only does laughter feel good it is a natural way for the body to heal.