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Laughter is Good for You!- The Benefits of Laughter Therapy 
 
by Anika Logan August 03, 2005

Laughter is more than just an enjoyable activity. It is very beneficial to the body and mind. It doesn't cost a cent and it is highly contagious. But is laughter really the best medicine? Read on and decide for yourself.

Everyone enjoys a good laugh, don’t they? If they don’t, they should! Laughter has many benefits, which in turn have positive effects on the human body. Laughter lowers blood pressure, activates the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), reduces stress hormones, helps reduce pain, allows muscles to relax and is helpful for breathing as frequent laughter empties the air of lungs. And that’s just the beginning!

Laughter as therapy

More and more doctors are prescribing laughter therapy for patients feeling the stress of day-to-day life. Humor is a universally recognized language- it is spoken by people in every corner of the world. Laughter is rejuvenating to mind, body and soul, it sparks creative thoughts and it is so useful in maintaining healthy relationships with others. The best thing of all is that laughter is contagious so by all means, pass it on! It costs nothing and no negative side effects have ever been found from laughing (or even laughing too much).

Could laughter really be the best medicine?

Doctors, patients and health care professionals alike are all catching on to the concept that laughter might very well be the best medicine for whatever ails. It is believed that laughter should come naturally to everyone, much as a smile does. And if it is our nature to laugh, we should do so, often.

Benefits of laughter

So what are the benefits of laughing? There are many. Let’s take a look at the physical benefits of having an honest to goodness belly laugh.

Laughter is good for the circulatory system

Laughter is indeed very good for the heart. It increases circulation and improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout the body. Humor is known to lower blood pressure (and for reasons that escape even the most trained medical experts, women seem to benefit even more so from frequent laughing than do men).

A laugh is thought of as exercise for the heart and is very often likened to “an internal jogging.” Laughter helps strengthen the body’s largest muscle, the heart, and is particularly good for those who are not able to get up and walk, jog or do other kinds of cardiac exercises on a regular basis.

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