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12 Reasons to Laugh Your Way to Good Health

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

The science is there: Laughter is a healing property, even if it’s a cliché of the old axiom, “laughter is the best medicine.” Maza Inside touches on this by offering up a long list of health benefits that you get from the therapy of laughter.

laughing

Physical health benefits include:

  1. boosting your immunity
  2. relaxing your muscles and decreasing pain
  3. preventing heart disease
  4. lowering stress hormones
  5. improving your mood and adding joy and zest to your life
  6. relieving stress
  7. easing anxiety and fear and
  8. enhancing resilience
  9. Social benefits include: strengthening relationships
  10. enhancing teamwork and promoting group bonding
  11. attracting others to us 
  12. defusing conflicts.

Although reading about how to be happier and laugh more, there are many techniques for raising your level of happiness that can help you get on the road to joy and laughter. For many, happiness is elusive at best and at times near impossible. There's always something (or someone) pushing our buttons, making us feel less than joyful, but the good news is happiness can be learned.

In studies of centenarians, one thing that stands out is that rather than dwelling on negative events, most centenarians have figured out how to let things go, and to enjoy life for what it is, rather than to fret about what it isn’t. To that end, letting go of negative emotions not only elevates your feelings of life satisfaction and happiness, but ultimately helps you get and stay healthy.

So how do you “let things go” and vow to be happy? More often than not, it’s the small, simple things in life that bring the most joy and are the most invigorating, so choose to reach for little things — whatever gets you excited — that bring you joy and laughter.

This doesn't require expensive tickets to some far-flung destination — a walk in the woods can do the trick, or simply taking a different route on your way home from work. Or, simply looking for the humor in otherwise not-so-humorous situations can induce a chuckle or two.

Another hint: Too often, many people spend their whole lives waiting to be happy, when the secret to being happy is simply making certain choices such as letting go of grudges, treating everyone with kindness and expressing gratitude for what you have.

While the word "gratitude" can be interpreted in a number of ways depending on context, the clinical definition of gratitude is appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself, and a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation. In short, it's thankful appreciation for what you have received and/or everything you already have, whether it be tangible or intangible. It's a recognition of the good in life — and in the end a benefit to living a healthy life.