Humor is a virus. It is infectious. When shared, it can create harmony, even among the most hostile of people. The most interesting thing about humor, though, is that it can bring laughter and encourage a smile, both of which are medication to an aching heart. Laughter is the best medicine, and a warm smile is the universal language of kindness. Combine the two and you have a very powerful antidote not only to stress and pain, but to conflict as well. If you are having a hard time getting rid of the frown on your face right now, here are several reasons that will encourage you to do so.
Laughing and Smiling Instantly Relieve Stress
Experts agree that stress is the root of a myriad of sickness and diseases that people suffer from nowadays. The good news is that you don’t need to spend an ample amount of money just to combat it. Simply by laughing and smiling, you can get rid of stress in an instant. When you laugh or smile, your brain releases stress-diminishing hormones called endorphins. These are the same hormones your body produces whenever you are engaging yourself in moderate exercise.
Laughing and Smiling Promote Weight Loss
While laughing at a funny joke or smiling at something you find amusing won’t cause you to lose ten pounds, they sure can help you burn a good amount of calories. A researcher from Vanderbilt University named Maciej Buchowski conducted an experiment to measure the amount of calories a person can burn while laughing. In his study, he found out that 10-15 minutes of laughter could burn up to 50 calories.
Laughing and Smiling Lower Blood Pressure
Feel like you need to lower your blood pressure level? Grab your Sunday newspaper and flip the pages directly to the comedy section. Osaka University researchers in Japan conducted a study on the effects of music and laughter on blood pressure. After three months, participants of the study who were asked to participate in sessions to make them laugh were able to lower their blood pressure by 5 mmHg.
Laughing and Smiling Improve Cardiac Health
Both laughing and smiling can slow the heart and relax the body. This makes sure that your heart does not overwork. When you laugh or smile, your blood vessel function improves, increasing circulation and protecting your heart against common cardiovascular problems.
Laughing and Smiling Help Improve Your Mood
Need an instant mood lifter? Laughing or smiling can improve your mood in no time. Even when you’re feeling really low, you can trick your body into changing your mood just by a simple smile. After all, there is no room for you to feel blue when you’re happy.
Laughing and Smiling Kill Pain
As mentioned, laughing and smiling promotes the production of endorphins. The main function of these hormones is to actually lessen the brain’s perception of pain. Laughing when you’re injured may not cure the injury, but it sure can help alleviate the pain temporarily.
Laughing and Smiling Boost the Immune System
There are cells in our body that are activated through certain activities. T-cells, for instance, can be activated when you laugh or smile. These cells play an important role in cell-mediated immunity, which means they do the work of killing infected cells. Laughing also encourages an increase in the production of immunoglobulin A or IgA, an antibody responsible for fighting upper respiratory tract infections.
Laughing and Smiling Can Restore Your Youth
A simple smile is enough to make you look three years younger. A study conducted in 2011 showed that facial expressions had a big effect on how other people perceive your age. In the study, volunteers were asked to guess the age of 171 people by looking at their pictures. Pictures with people with happy faces were underestimated by two to three years. Therefore, if you want to look younger than your actual age, make it a habit to smile all the time, even when there seems to be no reason to do it.
Laughing and Smiling Can Prolong Your Life
Laughing and smiling can improve your overall sense of well-being. It is a proven fact that people who have a positive outlook in life tend to live longer because they have stronger immune systems and can fight diseases better than people who are pessimistic. For this reason, laugh, smile, and live up to a hundred years!
Bonus: Laughing and Smiling Spreads Health To Those Around You
Perhaps the best thing about laughing and smiling is that it benefits not just you, but also the people around you. Laughter is contagious and a smile is infectious. Five out of ten people you smile at will surely smile back at you, which means they can also have the potential to enjoy the same health benefits you enjoy out of laughing and smiling.