The Best Medicine
by Wendy on 19th December 2019
It’s widely accepted that our state of mind can have a direct impact on our physical health. When we experience mental illness, for example, our bodies can suffer too. But the reverse is also true: having a positive outlook can change our health for the better. And having a good ol’ giggle is one of the best things we can do!
The Science Bit
Laughter is known to relax the body (unless, of course, you laugh so hard for so long that you end up with those pesky giggle-cramps!). And when we’re laughing ourselves silly, we release endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which promote a general sense of well-being and give us that spring in our step. Laughter even increases blood flow, which can offer protection against heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.
Happiness can even burn calories! One study found that laughing for at least an hour a week can burn approximately 40 calories—which, whilst it doesn’t seem a lot—could help you lose three or four pounds over a year. It all adds up!
Adding joy to your life in any way is always good for your mental health. When we have a good time, we can experience a reduction in our stress levels and an improvement to our mood. And there are social benefits, too. Having a giggle can help us to bond with others and maintain healthy relationships —both at home and at work. In turn, this can help with our work/life balance and make our professional lives more pleasant.
We realise, of course, that it’s easier said than done; nobody ever cheered up by being told to cheer up. But do try and take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, whether it be having an evening out with friends, or watching your favourite comedy show on TV. Every giggle helps!