“A day without laughter is a day wasted”
There’s no denying that laughter has an incredible power to bring people together and improve our mood and well-being.
From a social perspective, laughter is a way for us to signal to others that we wish to connect with them. It’s a non-verbal expression of emotion that we all share, regardless of our language or culture. Even before we learn to speak, we’re able to laugh and communicate our acceptance of others. But the benefits of laughing goes far beyond its social function. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has numerous physical health benefits as well. When we laugh, we take in more oxygen, which stimulates our heart, lungs, and muscles. This increases our oxygen intake and can also help us feel more energized and alert. So, it’s no wonder that the age-old saying “laughter is the best medicine” rings true, supported both by the wisdom of tradition and the insights of modern science.
How is ‘laughter is the best medicine’ scientifically accepted?
Here are some other science-backed benefits of laughter:
- Boosts our mood: When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals that can improve our mood and even relieve pain or stress.
- Reduces stress: The act of increasing and then decreasing our heart rate and blood pressure through laughter is ultimately calming and tension-relieving.
- Improves immune system response: Laughter can even boost our immune system response. When we laugh, our bodies release neuropeptides, which can reduce stress and help fight off illnesses.
- Strengthens social connections: The contagious nature of laughter means that just watching someone else laugh can often make us smile and join in the laughter. This evolutionary signal of connection plays an important role in survival, as it helps us bond with others and form social connections.
How does laughter actually benefit our health?
Laughter is often referred to as ‘the best medicine’ due to the many health benefits it offers. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals. This can reduce stress and boost our mood, supporting the idea that laughter is indeed a form of emotional medicine. Additionally, laughter can have physical benefits; it can improve the function of our immune system and help lower blood pressure. While it might not be a universal cure, the notion that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ is supported by scientific evidence pointing to its positive impact on our well-being.
How do bring laughter into your life?
Here are a few tips for incorporating more laughter into your daily life:
- Watch a comedy or sitcom regularly
- Share jokes or funny stories with friends and family
- Attend a comedy show or improve your night
- Practice laughter yoga or laughter meditation
- Play games or do activities that make you laugh, like karaoke or charades
Take a moment to cherish the power of laughter with your colleagues and friends today. Remember, “laughter is the best medicine,” and it’s a prescription we should all fill regularly for a happier, healthier life.
This article is written by Kumud Gandhi – Food Scientist, nutritionist, writer & broadcaster. Kumud Gandhi is the lead scientist at The Cooking Academy and is a pioneer of science-based nutritional coaching to support people in achieving productivity and wellness through nutritional management. She leads the ‘Wellness in the Workplace’ division at The Cooking Academy
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Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.