We’ve heard it time and again: Laughter is the best medicine. According to Mayo, although it may not be the best medicine, it certainly comes close. In fact, there is more and more data available to support the positive benefits of laughter, some of which Mayo points out:
- Short-term benefits
- Enhances one’s intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulating the heart, lungs and muscles and increasing endorphins.
- Fires up – and cools down – one’s stress response, increasing heart rate and blood pressure and leaving one feeling relaxed.
- Stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some physical symptoms of stress.
- Long-term benefits
- Releases neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially serious illnesses.
- Helps the body produce natural pain relievers.
- Helps people connect with one another.
- Helps lessen depression and anxiety.