Whether you’re guiltily guffawing at an episode of “Family Guy” or quietly giggling at a joke told by a friend, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke. Medically speaking, laughter helps the pituitary gland release its own pain-suppressing opiates.
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
- Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
- Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
- Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
- Defend against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds–by immunoglobulon in saliva.
- Increase memory and learning; in a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humor during instruction led to increased test scores
- Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
Overall, laughter is the best medicine. Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you’ve had your chuckle, take stock of how you’re feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That’s the natural wonder of laughing at work.
Don’t forget to checkout a list of comedians who makes a living at making you laugh. Enjoy!