“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” ~Charles Dickens
Every year the first Sunday of May is celebrated as World Laughter Day in most of the large cities of the world. People in large numbers worldwide gather on this day to laugh together. Laughter has many life and health benefits that many people are unaware of.
“Laughter is the best medicine” as it relieves all our physical tension and stress. It’s like a painkiller that reduces the pain of aching hearts & minds. It lightens anger’s heavy load on us. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable us to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
Recent studies in Psychology and Medical Science have proved that laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving our resistance to disease. It 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.
A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect us against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. For diabetic patients, it’s healthy as it burns calories. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year. The great philosopher and thinker Aristotle once said: “Laughter is a bodily exercise, precious to health.”There are several other health benefits of laughter, too, that’s why it is said: “Laughing is, and will always be, the best form of therapy.”
Moreover, laughter is also a social mechanism, by which we can make friends and connect with others. Life is better when we are laughing as the world’s great comedian Charlie Chaplin says”A day without laughter is a day wasted.” So we should laugh when we can, apologize when we should, let go of what we can’t change.