Health & Wellness

Five Reasons Why Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine

By on 04/25/2018

It would be nice to think that a good sense of humor could cure what ails you. Of course, laughter alone is not going to take the place of a healthy lifestyle, but it is one factor that may boost your physical and mental health.

A number of positive health benefits have been associated with laughter, although research is limited on the subject. Here are five reasons why a good chuckle may be just what the doctor ordered.

  1. It can reduce stress. A good laugh won’t resolve what’s causing you to be stressed, but it can temporarily relieve stress and reduce tension. This helps you cope with difficult situations and relax. That’s a good thing, because chronic stress has been linked to a host of health issues, from heart disease and diabetes to lower immunity, anxiety and depression.
  2. It can boost heart health. Laughter increases your intake of oxygen-rich air and gets your heart pumping. Research suggests laughing may decrease blood pressure, improve circulation and reduce artery inflammation.
  3. It can alleviate pain. Laughter can help reduce muscle tension and may even lessen pain. Even if the physical cause of pain doesn’t go away, it’s easier to ignore the pain when you’re in the middle of a good laugh.
  4. It can improve your mood. You often can’t control what happens in life but you can always choose how you react. Find a reason to look on the bright side and you’re more likely to be happy. A good sense of humor helps you keep things in perspective and can boost morale.
  5. It can break the ice. Finding humor in a situation can help you feel more comfortable in social situations and helps you connect with other people.

Not everyone is born with a good sense of humor or finds it easy to laugh, but learning to see the funny side of life may just improve your quality of life.

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Date Last Reviewed: February 12, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.