Laughing is Good For Your Immune System

A good giggle can have both short term and long term positive effects on your health.
Laughing is Good For Your Immune System
There is no magic wand we can wave that will instantly “boost” our immune system when the going gets rough. If you’ve been treating your bod less-than-temple-esque lately (and suddenly we find ourselves amidst a global pandemic) you might be stressing about how to kick up your own natural protection, and you’re not alone. But you’re also in luck.

There are tons of things we can do that will inevitably work to strengthen our immune systems. Sure, there are herbal tinctures, ginger, supplements, and straight up eating well, but believe it or not, laughter truly is a perfect medicine to add to your wellness arsenal.
stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain

According to the Mayo Clinic, a good giggle can have both short term and long term positive effects on your health, so there’s no better time than the present to seek out your particular brand of humor and have at it. In the short term, laughing causes you to increase your intake of oxygen. Have you ever found yourself gasping for breath, tears in your eyes, while you say something like, “you’re killing me. I’m dying! Literally dead.” Turns out you’re actually thriving.

Laughing can also “stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain,” says that study. And you know what they say about endorphins. According to Elle Woods, they prevent murders. Because endorphins make people happy.

One of the most pivotal factors of our overall health and the way our immune system reacts to invaders, inflammation, and outside stimuli is stress. Studies show that an overproduction of stress hormones associated with chronic stress levels prevents immune cells from doing their very important (and only) job. Laughing can relieve an over productive stress response, and  even increase pain tolerance

A good guffaw, by relieving us of chronic stressors, can also soothe tension. It stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation. Following an intense, genuine cackle, you might have felt relieved, and then deeply relaxed. That’s from the sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and then subsequent release. Kind of like working out.

While laughing, like, for real, has the best results, even a forced laugh and yield some similar benefits. Even if you’re not in “the mood,” consider making yourself turn that frown upside down and see what happens. You might find that genuine glee is not too far behind a faux-funny, and laughing comes easier to you. FaceTime with your friends, swap memes, watch comedies. It’s good for you.

Written by Nicole Lesmeister

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