5 Reasons To Have A Really Good Belly Laugh

Health + Well-Being Heart of The Host/ess

I am a HUGE believer in the mighty, healing power of laughter.

I’m not talking a polite little tee hee hee – no sireee. I’m talking the knee-slapping-nose-snorting-rockin-back-and-forth-so-hard-oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-pee-I-can-hardly-breathe kind. This is the kind of laughter that was the key to our family’s success and survival. From childhood, gawky teenager to adult – growing up in my house meant you were going to have serious abdominal pain, embarrassing drink spillage from your nose, cheeks aching and exhausting fits of laughter. Our family’s fertilizer = laughter. It was the one place we could let everything go and feel simpatico – no matter what else was going on in our lives.

We even had a car game called ‘the laughing game’, invented by my father, where one person {my father} starts fake laughing, then the next person starts, then the next, and before you know it, the entire family is laughing, for real – really hard. Now, it’s my kids favorite game and it never fails to get us all in a good mood.

Laughter is truly wonderful in that it’s something that is shared and connects you with just about anyone – a stranger, friend, cancer patient, elderly, foreigner, baby – even dogs laugh. In his own research, Dr Provine, a neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, studies the development and evolution of the nervous system and behavior, including human social behavior. In his widely cited book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, Provine found that we’re thirty times more likely to laugh when we’re with other people than when we’re alone. People who laugh a lot may just have a strong connection to the people around them. That in itself might have health benefits. Laughter is part of a larger picture. “Laughter is social, so any health benefits might really come from being close with friends and family, and not the laughter itself.” Sounds like a prescription to have a good time – when was the last time you had a good belly laugh?

5 Reasons to have a Really Good Belly Laugh

1. Laughter boosts your immune system.

According to studies, laughter helps to boost your immune system and may even increase the number of cancer-killing cells in your body. Doing something that feels good and is good for you? I’m in!

2. Laughter release endorphins.

Speaking of feeling good – when you laugh, you trigger a release of endorphins {those yummy feel-good chemicals}. These chemicals triggered by the brain, are the reason you feel so happy when you laugh – isn’t that the BEST feeling! The more you laugh, the better you’ll feel, so do it as often as you can!

3. Laughter connects us with others.

Think about how you feel when you’re laughing with someone. You feel connected, right? Even if you don’t know the person well, you feel bonded with him or her. – Forming connections has a positive impact on our lives — and laughter is a great way to connect.

4. Laughter protects your heart.

Apparently laughing has some healthy heart benefits. Laughing can lead to improved blood flow and cut down on high blood pressure. Heart troubles are unfortunately pretty common — which is why we should all start laughing more often to ward them off.

Fact: One pioneer in laughter research, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. I’m sure it’s more fun too.

5. Laughter keeps us present.

When you’re laughing, you’re focused on whatever is funny in that moment. You’re not worried about the past or the future. You’re in the now. Though you might not realize it, laughter really is one of the best ways to stay present.

Laughter is also the sign of a great party. It means people are feeling relaxed, having fun and open to their environment – which also means the host/ess is doing a fabulous job – or has her dress tucked into her underwear.

These are just a few of the benefits of having a good laugh. Ultimately laughter offers us a break from the hard parts of life – a chance to escape, but for a few moments. No matter how badly you feel, how broken your heart is, how tough things seem, laughter has the ability to pick you up and bring you a respite from unhappiness – and it’s free. It really is the best medicine.

Is there someone you know who could use a good laugh? Hahahahahahaah!

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