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Humor with a heartHave you heard the old proverb “Laughter is the best medicine?”

April is National Humor Month, a time to bring awareness to the therapeutic value of humor. Research shows that laughter has positive benefits to us physically, mentally and emotionally.

Here are 10 fun facts about how humor can improve health.

Fact #1: Whether the laughter is real or fake, the health benefits of laughter are the same.

Fact #2: A good round of laughing can relieve stress in your body and relax your muscles for up to 45 minutes.

Fact #3: Laughter can reduce cortisol levels (the main stress hormone) in your body by increasing oxygen intake and stimulating circulation of your body.

Fact #4: Laughing releases endorphins (the feel-good chemical) in your body, which works on lowering your blood pressure, improving your overall wellbeing, and can even relieve pain.

Fact #5: Laughter can help shift your perspective and place psychological distance in stressful situations by reducing your fight, flight or freeze reactions.

Fact #6: Laughing provides distractions from stressful situations and gives your brain time to rest from worrying.

Fact #7: People laugh an average of 17 times a day.

Fact #8: Laughter can be used to diffuse anger and conflict. It also enables people to move on from conflicts without holding on to bitterness and resentment.

Fact #9: Laughter can strengthen relationships as it triggers positive feelings and creates positive bonds.

Fact #10: There is such a thing in this world as Laughter Yoga, which utilizes certain exercises to prompt laughing. And remember Fact #1 – you can fake it until you make it. Watch this video to learn more about how to practice laughter yoga.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of the Jewish Family Service of San Antonio blog are for general use or informational purposed only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The use of any information contained on this site is solely at your own risk. If you would like to speak in detail with a licensed therapist, please email referrals@jfs-sa.org.

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or your doctor right away.