“Laughter is the best medicine” may sound a bit cliché, but there is quite a bit of truth underlying this old saying. In fact, research, including our own here at Murad, has unveiled that laughter actually is a powerful “prescription” that helps both mental and physical health.
Here are a few great reasons why you should allow yourself to indulge in a full-blown belly laugh:
- Laughter can be relaxing. After a hearty belly laugh, some people can be heard sighing as they come down from the convulsions of laughter. The relaxation that follows a good laugh can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
- Laugher reduces stress hormones. That overload of mental tension really melts away from the forefront of your consciousness when you just laughed so hard you cried. Laughter can be a great mood regulator in a stressful situation. Make the most of opportunities to change a dark or fraught emotional tone with some laughter.
- Laughter increases blood flow. Increased blood flow is good for the heart, blood vessels and the cardiovascular system overall. Laughter is a mini workout and we should take advantage of that fun way to experience some light exercise.
- Laughter boosts endorphins. Laughing gets our endorphins flowing. These natural feel-good chemicals give our brains a boost and help to give us a more positive outlook on the day.
- Laughter as a coping skill. “Frantic.” “Out of control.” “Overwhelming.” These words are sometimes used to describe our feelings about trying to cope with life, work, kids, marriage and the myriad responsibilities on our plates. We cannot always predict the stresses of life but our reactions to them can dictate how much negative impact they can have on our day. Sometimes, the healthiest option in the face of stress overload is to stop and laugh.
In short, laughter can help you change your perspective — and change your life for the better.
Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.