We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, but is that true? How can something as simple as a laugh be beneficial?
Laurie Finkelstein knows a thing or two about bringing laughter, and a bit of levity, to any situation. She wrote the book Next Therapist Please, which brings humor to the forefront as the main character hops from one therapist to the next.
While Laurie is not a health-care professional, and isn’t suggesting medical advice, she has done the research and seen first-hand how therapeutic laughing can be. Here are Laurie’s ten reasons to laugh for your health!
Ten Benefits of Laughter
- Reduces Stress Hormones – Cortisone is the most well-known stress hormone. Kick it to the curb by laughing and improve your overall health.
- Increases Health – Endorphins and neurotransmitters are kicked-up while laughing. These hormones increase mood, creativity and overall well-being.
- Boost Immune System – Laughter increases productivity of antibody cells increasing the antibodies we need to fight off infection and illness.
- Increases Blood Oxygenation – While laughing, the increased blood circulation increases the oxygen level in the brain, which promotes a healthier brain and it increases lung capacity as well.
- Improves Memory – A healthier brain allows more areas of the brain to be stimulated thus building a stronger accumulation of details and facts to recall.
- Enhances Mood – Laughter has an analgesic effect, which reduces unconscious pain thus elevating mood. Even forced laughter without stimuli will create a better mood because the brain doesn’t differentiate between genuine laughter and fake laughter. So, if you’re feeling stressed or depressed, put on a fake smile and fake laughter.
- Natural Exercise – Laughing uses muscles deep inside and burns calories.
- Prevents Cancer – Laughter increases the levels of IFN – Interferon-Gamma, and that in turn regulates cell growth.
- Regulates Blood Pressure – Great to improve blood circulation. Laughing initially raises blood pressure temporarily and then lowers it below the normal resting rate.
- Promotes Creativity – The combined effect of increased endorphins and oxygenated brain, with reduced stress hormones and all the chemical process produced by laughter allow the brain to function more effectively. Thus, bringing both hemispheres together in turn to foster creativity.
Laurie Finkelstein is the author of the award-winning Next Therapist Please. Tackling heavy subjects with a sense of humor is the theme of her book, as well as her life.
To learn more about her writing as well as her art, visit Laurie’s website.