Why Laughter Is Actually Healthy for You: A Resource Guide

Is Laughter Really the Best Medicine? Yes. Thank You for Asking.

laughing clowns

When you laugh, you feel better. Obviously. Humor and laughing and having a good time with your pals, all of this tends to fall under the larger category of “feeling good.” We can all agree on that, right? Well the next logical conclusion to draw, or hypothesis to work out (that may be closer to the truth), sounds something like — “Can laughing actually contribute to my total picture of bodily health?” We say yes. Hands down. But don’t take it from us.

Here is a rundown of everything we could find on the Internet to corroborate the intimate, healthy, undeniable connection between your good health, and the amount of the day (and your life!) that you spend laughing.

Resource Guide to Understanding the Health Benefits of Laughing

Laughter Is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter.
“Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.”

Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter. Why, for some, laughter is the best medicine. From WebMD (By R. Morgan Griffin)
“Feeling rundown? Try laughing more. Some researchers think laughter just might be the best medicine, helping you feel better and putting that spring back in your step.
“I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. “They might be healthier too.”
Yet researchers aren’t sure if it’s actually the act of laughing that makes people feel better. A good sense of humor, a positive attitude, and the support of friends and family might play a role, too.”

Laughter is the “Best Medicine” for Your Heart, from the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“Can a laugh every day keep the heart attack away? Maybe so.
Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.”

The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter. Health Benefits of Laughter: Stress Relief, Immunity, and More, at About.com, by Elizabeth Scott, M.S.,
“Research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. While more studies need to be done, studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. Positive psychology names the propensity for laughter and sense of humor as one of the 24 main signature strengths one can possess, and laughter yoga clubs are springing up across the country. Read on for more findings about the health benefits of laughter, and see how to incorporate more humor and fun into your life.”

How Laughter Works at How Stuff Works, by Marshall Brain.
“Human beings love to laugh, and the average adult laughs 17 times a day. Humans love to laugh so much that there are actually industries built around laughter. Jokes, sitcoms and comedians are all designed to get us laughing, because laughing feels good. For us it seems so natural, but the funny thing is that humans are one of the only species that laughs. Laughter is actually a complex response that involves many of the same skills used in solving problems.”

How Laughing is Good For Your Health, at A World of Good Health (Canada), by John Ryan.
“When thinking about alternative medicine, most people picture plants, crystals, needles, maybe some bugs and leeches, but few realize that jokes, humor and comedy are truly medicines, in their own right. It has long been established that optimists live longer than pessimists, but now there is some hard evidence that people with a better sense of humor also have longer and healthier lives.”

Medicinal mirth: The health benefits of laughter, Why a laugh a day keeps the doctor—and the cardiologist and the psychiatrist—away. From ODEWire, by Mary Desmond Pinkowish.
“The strongest evidence for the health benefits of laughter comes from psychiatric research. Evidence has been accumulating for years that people who suffer with chronic anxiety, anger and depression have multiple physiological problems. Anger and depression have been linked to heart disease, while gastrointestinal troubles are said to result from uncontrolled anxiety.”

The Health Benefits of Laughter, by Madeline Vann, MPH.
“Laughter is a key component of a happy life, and it has powerful physical and mental benefits. No matter what you’re facing, you can learn to laugh and benefit from its healing ways.”

Laughter and Health Articles from the Arlington Laughter Club.

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