You’ve probably heard the saying that we used for this title: “Laughter is the best medicine.” But how much truth is there to this popular phrase? It turns out, the answer is more than you might think.
After spending a weekend wheeling at SMORR (SOUTHERN MISSOURI OFF-ROAD RANCH) with the group from Midwest Jeepthing, I can verify that laughter and time away from all the distractions is good for your soul.
Laughing Relieves Stress
Laughing actually physically relaxes the entire body, which can help release the tension and stress that you carry on a daily basis. The best part? Relaxation effects can actually linger for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh, so you’ll benefit long after the moment is over.
Laughing Triggers Endorphins
Laughing actually makes you feel good on a chemical level. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, which trigger a euphoric feeling. Endorphins also ease physical pain, which can be especially helpful for those with chronic conditions that have a hard time finding relief. While laughing won’t solve the problem entirely, it can provide a few moments of reprieve in the face of adversity.
Laughing Burns Calories
Yes, really! While it won’t make a major dent in your fitness routine (don’t skip the gym on our account), researchers have found that 15 minutes of laughter per day can burn up to 10 and 40 calories at a time. It also works stomach muscles, which you’ll know if you’ve ever had sore abs after a particularly fun day. Win, win!
Laughing Brings People Together
And, of course, laughing is an effective way to bond with the people around you. Strong connections with others make a major difference in long-term well-being, so if you’re hoping to build stronger relationships, make a point to laugh with the people you love. If you’ve ever felt joy just from someone else’s laughter, you know how powerful it can be.
How to Benefit from Laughing
Thanks to all the benefits above, it’s clear that laughing is a worthwhile addition to your everyday life. If you’re lacking in the laughing department, here are a few tips to increase your daily dose:
- Watch a funny TV show and laugh along with the punchlines (or the laugh track!).
- Buy a funny shirt from our team here at Goats Trail! As a bonus, when you wear your shirt in public, you might help other people laugh, too. Let’s maximize the connection benefits of laughing together!
- Head to a local comedy club for a stand-up performance from local comedians, and invite your friends to share the experience.
- Spend time with children, and give in to their silly joy and wonder. Chances are, they’ll find everyday things to laugh about, and you won’t be able to help yourself from laughing along.
Hopefully, we can all agree that laughter makes the world a happier place to be. Foster your own laughter using the tips above, and enjoy the many benefits for your mental and physical health. It’s true—laughter really is the best medicine.