It’s no joke – laughter is good for your health

 

We all know the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine." Even though a pandemic is no laughing matter, having a sense of humor, and being able to laugh at a good joke is a great stress buster during this time.

According to the National Institutes of Health, laughter has many health benefits, including the following:

Instant relaxation: A good, hearty laugh, or even a happy giggle relieves physical tension and stress and can improve your mood.

A boost to the immune system:  Laughter can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin, and increase your immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.

The release of endorphins:  Endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Heart protection: Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Helps reduce weight: A good laugh does not substitute for a workout, but one study shows laughing 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn 40 calories. This translates into losing about three pounds a year.

Diffuses anger:  Looking at the funny side of things can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations with friends or loved ones without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter adds years to your life: A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

Attracts others to us: Laughter connects us with others and is contagious.

To test the therapeutic benefits of laughter here are some punny, chuckle-worthy jokes:

Yesterday I saw a guy spill all his Scrabble letters on the road.
I asked him, “What’s the word on the street?”

A woman in labor suddenly shouted, “Shouldn’t! Wouldn’t! Couldn’t! Didn’t! Can’t!
“Don’t worry, “ said the Doc. Those are just contractions.”

Why do we tell actors to “break a leg?”
Because every play has a cast.

The problem isn't that obesity runs in my family.
It’s that nobody runs in my family.

How much does a pirate pay for corn?
A buccaneer.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.
Then it dawned on me.

To whoever stole my antidepressants
I hope you’re happy now.

I got fired from the candle factory because
I refused to work wick ends!

I used to be addicted to soap.
But I’m clean now.

Women should not have children after 35.
Really, 35 children are enough.

Change is inevitable.
Except from a vending machine.

I just burned 2,000 calories.
That's the last time I leave brownies in the oven while I nap.

I was addicted to the hokey pokey.
Thankfully, I turned myself around.      

Did you hear about the claustrophobic astronaut?
He just needed a little space.

Why did the chicken go to the séance?
To get to the other side.

Find out more about how laughter can reduce stress by going to the National Institutes of Health site at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125057/