Laughter is universal. No matter how old we are, what language we speak, our gender, or our physical capability, humor and laughter are a part of being human. Our ability to find humor in almost every situation is a true gift and what makes it even better is that laughing is actually good for us! Not only does laughter bring individuals and communities together, it holds several health benefits. I know that whenever I am around people who make me laugh, I feel better and it’s just a simple fact: I get a lot more out of life when I feel good.
How can laughter help our bodies?
- By making our muscles relax and relieving stress.
- Our cortisol levels drop, which minimizes pain and inflammation.
- Laughter also releases endorphins, which comprise the natural, feel good substance in our body.
- Laughing reduces our blood pressure and increases our heart rate, to improve blood circulation.
- Laughter also stimulates the immune system.
- Laughing prompts electricity to sweep through our cerebral cortex and can lead to improved cognitive function.
How can laughter help us socially?
- Laughter allows us to feel connected to one another.
- It allows us to express our true feelings.
- It has a positive effect on our relationships.
- It helps us to calm down and feel less anxious in social situations.
Finding laughter and humor in the community is a great way to add humor to your day.
- Anchorage has a great improv comedy club that is open the first Saturday of every month, at 8pm.
- The internet is filled with humor as well. Look into a joke of the day website that offers new jokes daily.
- Don’t forget to read the comics in your newspaper!
However, laughing alone is not as fun as laughing with others so be sure to think about finding humor at other social venues, such as at the local senior center, Moose Lodge, or with a bridge group.