Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was right! Researchers at the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland found that “people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations” when compared to those of a similar age without heart disease. In addition to “eating right and exercise,” researcher Michael Miller, MD, said that “hearty laughter be added to the list.”
Besides a healthy heart, here are 7 more benefits of smiling and laughing:
- Smiling makes you happy. Even if you don’t feel like it, smiling will make you look friendly and draw people to you. Being sociable makes us happier.
- Smiling releases endorphins that make you feel good. Endorphins act as “a body’s natural pain killers” and help you feel better if you have an injury or suffer from chronic pain.
- Endorphins attack cortisol, the stress hormone. Laughter is a good way to reduce levels of cortisol in our bodies.
- Laughter helps us get in touch with our emotions. Do you keep things bottled up inside? Laughter helps us release emotions and feel more positive.
- Our body relaxes. Laughter helps relieve physical tension and stress, relaxing our muscles.
- Laughing helps reduce conflict. Bonding over shared humor can defuse almost any sticky situation.
- Smiling makes us feel good about our lives. Life is precious – be thankful for the people in your life.
Learn more about the healing power of smiles.