Thrive In Five: Laughter is the best medicine

Laughter is the best medicine three friends laughing sat on a wall

This week’s Thrive In Five is about Laughter and why it really is the best medicine

Laughter there is nothing quite like a good laugh is there? And let me tell you why laughter is important for health and wellbeing.

Laughter releases endorphins

Firstly laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins interact with pain receptors. You might have heard me talk about those in last week’s episode, endorphins make us feel good. We get them from running. We get them from stretching. We get them from massage and who knew, we get them from laughter too. And again, a bit like breathwork that I talked about last week, you can laugh on your own. Find a funny YouTube video. Think of something that happened when you were at university or in the past that made you laugh, read a joke, watch a comedian, anything at all that makes you laugh.

Share the laughs

Talk to someone around you and have a bit of banter, but it will increase the amount of endorphins in the body that will make you and them feel good. Why not watch a funny movie with the kids or your partner, try and make them laugh, the out loud belly kind of laughing.

Laughter takes cortisol out of the blood

Endorphins are one big plus, but laughter is also known to take cortisol out of the blood – again, a bit like breathwork. So they’re kind of similar in some ways and that’s another wellbeing benefit of laughter. It will take some of that stress hormone out of the body and leave you feeling a little bit more relaxed.

Laughing uses the body

The other surprising thing about laughter, I suppose it’s surprising in a sense because you don’t necessarily think of it as being a positive for this particular thing, but then when you really think about it, laughter moves the body. It uses a lot of muscles in the body and that increases blood flow.

So you have fresh oxygenated blood moving up and down the body into the brain and bringing nutrients into the brain, but also all the limbs.

Laughter is the best medicine

So endorphins up ✅, cortisol down – which is, generally speaking, a positive thing ✅, blood flowing throughout the body ✅ and all of that through laughter. Which is such a positive thing for our mental health, it makes us feel good.

My mood can be instantly transformed with a laugh. So go out and find something that makes you laugh, go out and make somebody else laugh. It’s as funny, I think, to make people laugh as it is to be entertained yourself.

That’s it for me. See you next week. Stay healthy.

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