5 Wellbeing Benefits of Laughter

Adorable baby laughing

If “laughter is the best medicine”, then what are those symptoms that laughter would be improving? The number of positive benefits in the body may surprise you!

1. The University of Oxford showed that laughing can actually increase pain tolerance. This may be because a good solid belly laugh releases endorphins into your brain. Regardless of the reason though, the improvement in pain tolerance was an even better if comedy was experienced as a group. To laugh is good. To laugh together is great. 

2. Laughter can give you resilience by boosting your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off infection. Research also shows that laughing can decrease stress hormones such as cortisol as well. In fact (and this may seem crazy), the impact of reduced stress levels can even be improved by ‘fake laughter’, smiling, and trying to laugh.

3. Physiological studies have shown that laughter decreases pulse wave velocity for your heart and can reduce stiffness in your arteries. This can have a positive impact on the health of your cardiovascular system.

4. Put this one is the category called “never saw THIS coming”! One 2011 study of women undergoing in vitro fertilisation showed that those who were entertained by a clown were 16% more likely to get pregnant than those who had not been in the clown group. If you had to guess why this might be, you could suppose that it’s because of the one-two punch of lower stress hormone, plus an increase in endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. 

5. Laughter helps you live a more mindful life by grounding you in the present moment. When watching comedy or laughing with friends it is a two-way interaction that requires our attention. Whether you are listening for the punchline, or watching a scene unfold into comedic disaster it keeps you in the moment, not in the past or worrying about the future. Being present in the here and now is a way of counteracting anxiety and alleviating depression.


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