5 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Need to Belly Laugh

When was the last time you had a proper belly laugh? You know, the kind where you feel sore in your cheeks and energized throughout your entire body afterward.

In my case, days can go by where I don’t really laugh, but on days when the stars are aligned and I experience a good old belly laugh, the rest of the day just gets so much better…

A few days ago, I had one of those days…

My boyfriend and I were unproductive couch-potatoes – watching Family Guy on TV (we both love that show), when something not particularly funny happened, and I just started laughing… not just a normal laugh, but with my whole body. You know, one of those laughs, where you don’t know if it’s going to evolve into crying… Sometimes there’s a very fine line between laughing really hard and balling your eyes out.

Thankfully it stopped before it got out of hand…

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But what it left me with was an immediate change of mood… and for the remainder of the day I felt great, happy and more excited to take on anything that came my way.

Unfortunately – as we get older and take on more and more responsibilities – we tend to laugh less often… even so we need the relieve of a good belly laugh even more.

THE BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER

When it comes to the benefits of laughter, there’s been done a ton of research… and one of the biggest and most impressive impacts laughter has, is on our overall health and wellness.

It’s been proven to lower stress, decrease blood pressure, improve memory recall, lower anxiety, decrease inflammation in your body, boost your body’s immune response and it may even speed up your metabolism (and more).

Even though these benefits should be convincing enough to make you want to laugh more, I also want to share some other benefits laughter has on your life. The following are 5 benefits of laughter I believe will affect your life the most, as you focus on creating the life of your dreams.

#1 LAUGHTER WILL IMPROVE YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

Happy people attract happy people… it’s as simple as that. If you’re able to make people laugh, then you’re more likely to attract new friends into your life and not just any kind of friends, but friends who appreciate laughter and fun.

In fact, most things we laugh at aren’t necessarily actual jokes, but comments in everyday conversation. Laughter is as much about social relationships as it’s about humor.

Writing in a HuffPost UK blog, laughter consultant Joe Bluett said: “Laughter has a way of instantly connecting people and is one of the most basic and fundamental ways in which we communicate as human beings. But more than that – laughter can increase confidence, self-esteem, creativity, positivity and resilience, bringing positive changes to all aspects of our lives.

#2 LAUGHTER LOWERS STRESS AND CAN PREVENT ILLNESS

If you experience several days (or weeks) of continued stress, your stress hormones can take a toll on your body and make it difficult for you to fight off sickness.

Studies suggest that laughing reduces several of these hormones, which lowers the overall stress levels and strengthens the immune system.

So, if you want to avoid catching the latest cold or bowing down to stress, try watching an episode or two of a funny TV show or read your favorite comic strip.

#3 LAUGHTER HELPS RELIEVE DEPRESSION

Laughter has long been known to help people who are suffering from a full-blown depression.

When we laugh, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness.

This effect works both ways. The release of dopamine causes us to smile when we feel happy, and the mere act of smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which in turn makes us feel happy.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling blue or angry, try to force yourself to smile – as it will help you leave behind what sadness or anger you experienced and eventually get you into a better mood.

#4 LAUGHTER IS A GOOD EXERCISE 

Most of us probably think of laughter as a response to something funny — in other words an emotion.

But laughter is fundamentally a physical action. “Laughter involves the repeated, forceful exhalation of breath from the lungs,” says Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford.

“The muscles of the diaphragm have to work very hard.” We’ve all heard the phrase “laugh until it hurts,” he points out. That pain isn’t metaphoric; prolonged laughing can be painful and exhausting.

Rather like a difficult workout.

#5 LAUGHTER STRENGTHENS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AND PROMOTES PERSON-TO-PERSON BONDING

If you’re looking to find a new partner, then laughter will help increase your chances of finding a new mate.

And when you do find a partner, laughing together will greatly improve the odds of a long-term relationship and help you create empathy towards each other.

Laughter creates better communication, which leads to less confrontations in tense situations and leaves individual competitiveness behind for a stronger partnership.

Men use much more humor and laughter when it comes to discussing sensitive health issues. They also prefer women who laugh in their presence and women actually laugh 125% more than men.

The English comedian John Cleese said, “I’m struck by how laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance, any sense of social hierarchy when you are just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.”

The conclusion of this blog post must be that laughter really is amazing for your mental, physical and social health… so why not introduce even more laughter into your life?

Enjoy laughing… it makes life so much more worth living.

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