Here’s how it usually works. You’re hanging out with a group of friends. Someone decides to crack a joke or tell an old high school story. May someone falls off his or her chair.
Or maybe, just maybe, you click on a link to a cat video.
However it happens, you find yourself laughing suddenly and uncontrollably. When you finally catch your breath, wipe the tears from your eyes, and compose yourself, you notice something is different.
You feel better.
This isn’t because of the cat video—funny as it may have been. There are some real health benefits that happen when we laugh. Here are a few...
4 Stress Busting Effects of Laughter
1. Laughter is relaxing
Laughing actually relieves stress and tension, and it relaxes our muscles for up to 45 minutes after the chuckles stop.
2. Laughter boosts the immune system
When we laugh, stress hormones disappear and immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies increase—improving your body’s resistance to disease.
3. It feels great
Laughing triggers the release of endorphins—those feel-good chemicals that promote an overall sense of well-being. Endorphins also relieve pain.
4. Laughter is good for the heart
Laughing also helps increase blood flow and blood vessel function. The combined effect can help protect you from a heart disease.
The key for laughter is to do it often. This means getting out more, taking the headphones off, and interacting with people. Our lives get busy, but spending time with the people we care about most can help us love and laugh more. And never, ever underestimate the value of a good cat video.