Nothing beats the cathartic release you experience when you let out a long, hearty laugh.
Think about it, when was the last time you let loose and had a good laugh with the people you love?
Hopefully your answer was just the other day, because laughter really is the best medicine when you’re feeling stressed!
Laughing daily has many benefits that not only improve your health, but also your overall sense of self worth.
When you’re laughing, you’re happy. And when you’re happy, you have the motivation to keep striving for greatness – whether that be in fitness, work, or your hobbies!
Laughter is something that briefly rescues us from our troubles and anxieties to give us a breather from the stress of daily life.
So the question is, are you laughing enough?
Here’s some ways laughter will greatly improve your mind and body – and certainly convince you to take a few minutes out of your day to watch that video of a cat falling off the table.
Lowers Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, we have just the right prescription for you – a heavy dose of laughter!
Of course, laughter can’t alone cure everything, but it certainly doesn’t hurt either!
Here’s how it works: when you let out a jovial laugh, your arterial blood pressure increases because the physical act of laughing is kind of like a mini workout (we’ll get to that later).
But what goes up must come down – when your blood pressure rises, it decreases back to its normal state. This kind of rise and fall actually helps promote healthy blood circulation, which prevents issues like heart disease and cardiac arrest.
In fact, 15 minutes of laughter a day is as important for your heart as 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.
Studies show that those who are pessimistic and have a negative outlook on life are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure than those who are positive and seek out laughter inducing events.
So the next time someone tells you to stop laughing so loudly, just tell them you’re preventing heart disease! Who can argue with that?
Have you ever been so stressed you felt like you were going insane, but then someone made you laugh with a funny joke and suddenly felt ten times better?
The stress hormone, cortisol, is what regulates how we respond to stressful situations. When cortisol is increased, we’re left with that negative, exhausted feeling that sometimes doesn’t even go away at the end of the day.
Laughter helps keep cortisol at bay while increasing the “happy” chemicals called endorphins.
When endorphins are raised, you’re left with a feeling of positivity, optimism, and an increased sense of self-worth. Plus, endorphins are natural pain killers, so that stress-induced headache you were feeling can be relieved with a good ol’ fashioned chuckle.
Because endorphins are the “feel good” chemical, laughing when you’re stressed will not only relieve some built up tension, but it will give you a better attitude about your situation. And a better attitude means you’ll be able to clearly brainstorm some solutions to the source of your stress.
This brings us to our next point – laughter puts you in a good state of mind.
Improves Your Mood and Mindset
When you tell your friends and family you’re feeling sad, usually one of the first things they try to do is make you laugh.
Science actually shows that just the act of smiling when you’re feeling down can lift your spirits, so imagine what a good laugh can do!
Laughing, especially with others, does more than just give you a mood boost, it also gives you a sense of belonging and community.
For example, when someone tells a joke about a shared experience, the group act of laughing allows us to feel connected to others, and not so alone in this great big world. This feeling of alienation is a major factor in depression, so the more you laugh with others, the less sad and alone you’ll feel!
Did you know that when you laugh at your problems, your mind subconsciously minimizes the issue and makes it more manageable for you to find the solution? Humor is a pretty powerful coping method that allows you to look beyond the problem and think creatively to get yourself out of it.
Imagine this: you just witnessed some side splitting comedy and now you’re practically on the floor gasping for air and holding your stomach as you let out an uproar of laughter.
Sound familiar? Little did you know you’re actually exercising!
Okay, so maybe you can’t hang up the gym shoes and just laugh yourself to a toned body, but laughter is a form of natural exercise, so to speak.
As you’re laughing to your heart’s content, the various muscles in your body are putting in work to create those belly clenching movements. Ever feel like you just had an intense ab workout after a laughing fit?
Laughter wakes up your diaphragm and abdominal muscles as your body continuously expands and contracts, giving you that sore muscle feeling in your stomach (a.k.a “ab workout”).
Research shows that laughing for just 10-15 minutes burns between 10 and 40 calories!
You may not burn as high an amount of calories as you would during, say, an Afterburn workout at Fit Body Boot Camp, but you can still burn a few extra calories in your day! However, laughter should not be considered a source for weight loss alone.
In fact, you would have to laugh for 12 hours straight just to lose one pound. Most of us don’t have the time to sit and laugh for half of the day, and frankly it sounds a bit exhausting.
The best way to get in shape the good old fashion way is to have a balanced diet and consistent workout routine.
At Fit Body Boot Camp, we understand your schedule may make it difficult to get your workouts in – this is why we’ve created the Afterburn effect to increase fat burn, even after you’ve completed our 30 minute HIIT workout!
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, if not more! When your mind is in a good place, you have the willpower to get out there and achieve your goals. So go ahead, take the time to laugh out loud – your body will thank you in the long run!