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How Laughter Can Affect Your Health

Two friends laugh together while their photo is taken.

You’ve heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” It turns out, there is some truth to this!  Research shows that making time to laugh every day can help improve our physical and mental well-being. Here’s why it’s important to tickle your funny bone whenever you can.

Mental Benefits

There’s a reason why we’re drawn to comedy shows, funny movies, and friends who make us giggle. Laughter can produce feel-good endorphins that greatly reduce stress. These endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can make you feel relaxed. This means that your mood might suddenly improve after laughing with friends — and it’s not a placebo effect.

Not only are you laughing with those friends, but you’re also bonding. Laughter enhances relationships by lightening the mood and creating an emotional connection through shared joy. Friends who laugh together may be more likely to stay together.

Physical Benefits

Think of laughter as an immune system boost. When you laugh, your body creates antibodies that can help protect you against infections. Less stress and more relaxation also contribute to a stronger immune system.

Laughter can be a natural painkiller. Those feel-good endorphins that reduce stress can also diminish physical pain. These chemicals can increase pain tolerance, and laughing can act as a distraction when your body hurts.

Smile and Laugh More Every Day

There is even research that says the just the act of smiling can trick your brain into releasing chemicals that increase feelings of positivity.

It’s not always easy, but try to find humor in your everyday stressors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, call a friend who makes you laugh, or watch clips of old TV comedies online (try classics like I Love Lucy or The Dick Van Dyke Show).

A good laugh may not be able to fix everything, but it can be just what you need to feel better about life.

AmeriHealth Team

The AmeriHealth Team is here to provide well-being tips and health insurance education to help you be your healthiest.