At its best, humor is a tool for maintaining perspective on life's difficulties. The ability to laugh and enjoy the ironies and twists of the world around us is one of the great human coping skills. We recommend you use humor to live better.
Humor may be the best medicine against life's trials and tribulations . . . but did you know that laughing can make you healthier?
Medical experts and expert laughing friends (seriously there is such a specialty) say that humor-often in the form of a good, hearty laugh-can help the mind and body in several ways by:
- reducing stress
- interrupting a power struggle
- increasing energy
- strengthening the immune system
- providing natural pain relief
- improving brain functioning
- controling blood pressure
- boosting endorphins
- conditioning abdominal muscles
- making you feel good
- protecting blood vessels, aiding the heart
In fact, several studies prove that laughing burns calories!
You don't have to be able to tell a joke or funny story well to benefit from a healthy sense of humor. Our experts suggest the following ways to maintain your sense of humor:
- Avoid jokes that depend on stereotypes and denigration of others;
- Learn to laugh at your own foibles before you point out someone else's;
- Watch a funny move or television show regularly;
- Tell a good joke if you want to; if no one laughs, that's their problem.
While scientists continue to study the health benefits of humor, studies have shown that we are 30 times more likely to laugh when we're with other people. People who laugh a lot, researchers say, may just have a strong connection to the people around them, which, in itself, may have health benefits, including an improved quality of life. So, go ahead and have a good laugh.