Laughter = Medicine

Good Times, Good Friends, Good Laughs

Did you know that the average adult laughs about 15 to 18 times a day? Kids, on the other hand, laugh about 200 times a day! Crazy, right? I got an email today about why we should all laugh more (an official work email too! That’s what happens when you work at a hospital) and thought it was worth sharing some of the highlights:

It would actually do us good, emotionally and physically, if we laughed more every day. Research suggests that children with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic. Kids who can appreciate and share humor are better liked by their peers but also are better equipped to handle differences and adversities. For us grown-ups too, laughing helps us to connect to others in our work and personal lives. A good sense of humor can increase our ability to cope with challenges or see things from a different perspective.

Laughter may also be good medicine. A study at the University of Maryland found that laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect against heart disease. Other studies propose that laughing has a positive physiological impact that may lead to muscle relaxation, reduction of stress hormones, strengthening the immune system, lowering pain, and exercising our heart, stomach muscles, and lungs.

You don’t have to be a comedian to experience the benefits of laughter. Most laughter is not generated by a joke, but rather everyday situations, warm gestures or heartfelt moments. If you do not experience laughter during your day, it is worth figuring out why.

By putting more laughter into your day, in addition to exercise and good nutrition, you can improve the quality of your life and it may help to protect against stress and disease.

Sources: The Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media, University of Maryland Medical Center, LifeWork Strategies EAP.

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