We laugh when we are happy, but is the reverse true, too? Can laughter make us happy?
Studies show that it just might.
Laughter has several short- and long-term health benefits. In the short term, it can reduce stress by first firing up and then releasing your body’s stress response, leaving you feeling relaxed. Laughter also makes you breathe deeply, refreshing your body with a nice dose of oxygen. This helps to relax us, since we tend to breathe shallowly when we are stressed. If you’ve ever laughed so hard your stomach hurts, you’ll know that laughing provides a workout for your core muscles. You can even burn up to 40 calories in 10 minutes of laughter, roughly equivalent to walking 1/4 to 1/2 a mile.
In the long term, laughter can help boost your immune system by lowering stress and boosting disease-fighting immune cells and antibodies. Laughter releases endorphins, which are the body’s own natural painkillers. Laughter can also help relieve depression and soothe anxiety, thereby boosting your mental health. Perhaps most importantly, laughter can help you connect with others. Humans are social animals, and our connection to other people is one of the most important factors in our happiness and life satisfaction.
If you want to try the power of laughter for yourself, watch a funny movie or a routine from your favorite comedian, look at some funny cat pictures, or call up your wackiest friend. If you are the wackiest friend, take pride in your role. By making someone laugh, you are boosting their health, fitness, and well-being.
If you are serious about laughter, you can even go to a laughter yoga class. In laughter yoga, participants start with some simple breathing exercises, and then start forcing themselves to laugh. After a bit of fake laughter, you’ll quickly find yourself laughing in earnest. Visit Laughter Yoga International to learn more.
Link - https://laughteryoga.org/
Besides making someone laugh, what are some other ways you can make someone else happy? In my next article, I’ll have several suggestions for you.