Global Belly Laugh Day occurs on January 24th. According to Belly Laugh Day Founder Elaine Helle, this day is about about celebrating with “the people in your life past and present, who laugh with you and help you laugh and smile… and remembering the strange, funny, ‘now I can laugh at it’ moments.” It was created to give people who have survived hard times a chance to laugh and be happy, and to give those in mourning an excuse to be happy for a day.
We all know how good it feels to laugh, but have you ever wondered why laughing makes us so healthy and happy?
Laughter has physical, social, and mental benefits.
Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Not only is laughter good for your health but it has social benefits as well. The sound of laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness.
- Laughter strengthens relationships.
- Laughter attracts others to us.
- Laughter enhances teamwork.
- Laughter helps defuse conflict.
- Promotes group bonding.
Laughter makes us feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.
More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun.
Mental Health Benefits:
- Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
- Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
“Everybody laughs the same in every language
because laughter is a universal connection.”
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