5 Proven Reasons Laughing Helps You Live Longer
“There’s no such thing as an inappropriate joke.
That’s why it’s a joke!”
— Michael Scott, The Office
Have you always thought of laughter as pretty much child’s play? If so, you might want to think again.
A fifteen-year study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlive those who don’t laugh as much. The researchers studied people with all kinds of illnesses, like cancer, heart disease, and infections—and women especially had much lower mortality rates when their humor scores were higher.
Here are some proven physical benefits of laughing, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America:
enhances oxygen intake
stimulates the heart and lungs
relaxes muscles throughout the body
triggers the release of endorphins—the body’s natural painkiller
balances blood pressure
The benefits of laughter are so relevant, that Hospitals like the Cancer Treatment Centers of America have programs now like ‘Laughter Therapy’ that go along with the traditional treatments.
And laughter is also known to release anger from a person’s body. Imagine something as simple as laughing being able to do this?
I remember hearing about a case years ago where a man was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the doctors gave him only a short time to live. Legend has it that he went home and watched comedy on television for hours on end. And months later, the doctors were amazed that the cancer was gone. Now, I’m not suggesting you try this at home. Or that you replace medical treatments with tv watching. But, knowing what we know now about laughing, I believe there’s some truth to this urban legend.
You might be saying at this point, “Well, I laugh. Everyone laughs. I’m not going to force myself to laugh. That’s odd. And besides, there’s not always funny stuff to laugh about. I have a lot of serious things on my plate right now.”
If this sounds like you, then there’s all the more reason to start laughing more. What have you got to lose? Pride and dignity? There aren’t a lot of studies on the health benefits of pride and dignity.
“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”
— Yiddish Proverb
Thanks for reading!
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