Can Laughing Extend Your Lifespan?

Quck answer

Laughing has been found to have several health benefits, including potentially prolonging your lifespan. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood boosters. Laughing also reduces stress by lowering the levels of stress hormones in your body. It can improve your cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow and improving the function of blood vessels. Additionally, laughing strengthens your immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and activating immune cells. While laughing alone may not guarantee a longer life, incorporating laughter into your daily routine can contribute to overall well-being and potentially increase your lifespan.


Let’s begin today’s Wonder of the Day with a joke. Ready? Okay.

Knock! Knock! “Who’s there?” Tank! “Tank who?” You’re welcome! Ha ha ha!

And you’re welcome for starting your day off with a chuckle. What do you mean you’re not laughing? That wasn’t amusing? Well, how about this one?

What goes tick, tock, woof, tick, tock, woof? Give up? A watchdog! We’re cracking ourselves up today! We hope you’re chuckling too, because laughter is a crucial part of life and, as it turns out, it has significant benefits for the body and mind.

Have you ever heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine? If you’ve ever had a broken arm, you know that laughter can’t replace a good doctor and a cast. However, there might be some truth to this saying. Some scientists argue that laughter offers various health advantages.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that laughter has positive psychological effects. For instance, laughter appears to alleviate symptoms of depression. It also helps reduce anxiety and improve mood.

The mental effects of laughter seem logical. However, the physical benefits of laughter are more intriguing. Several studies have indicated that laughter seems to reduce physical pain.

Why would this be the case? It might have something to do with what happens inside our bodies when we laugh. A good hearty laugh involves the movement of our muscles. It also causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which enhances blood flow. Additionally, our breathing becomes faster, resulting in a higher level of oxygen in our blood.

Some experts believe that laughing provides the body with a mild workout, similar to light exercise. Studies have shown that 10-15 minutes of laughter can burn 50 or more calories.

Not all scientists are convinced that these positive effects are solely due to laughter. That’s because it can be challenging to distinguish between cause and effect when it comes to laughter and its potential benefits. For instance, are people healthier because they laugh? Or do they laugh because they’re healthier and have more reasons to be happy?

Furthermore, some experts argue that laughter is primarily a social phenomenon. They believe that any health benefits may be just as likely to come from being close to friends and family as from the laughter itself.

Nevertheless, some researchers believe that laughter can contribute to a longer life. Studies conducted in Japan and Norway suggest that laughter may lead to a longer lifespan. Of course, they don’t fully comprehend why this might be the case, but they do have a few theories.

For example, some studies have suggested that laughter can strengthen the body’s immune system, helping to fight off deadly diseases. Other studies have shown that laughter can reduce inflammatory compounds that contribute to inflammation in older adults, thereby slowing down the progression of diseases like arthritis and cancer. In this way, laughter may indeed help people live longer.

Although scientists may not be able to definitively identify the direct advantages of laughter, they unanimously agree that laughing together with loved ones can enhance our happiness and overall well-being. Therefore, take some time today to share laughter with the people who are important to you. It has the potential to improve both your mood and your health!

Give It a Try

Did you find today’s Wonder of the Day amusing? Keep the laughter going by engaging in the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • Reflect on what makes you laugh. Consider the moments throughout the day and week that bring laughter into your life. Do you primarily enjoy laughing with friends and family? Is there a particular comedy TV show that never fails to make you laugh? Do you read humorous books or share funny jokes? Create a list of the things that typically make you laugh, and then share it with a friend or family member. Which items on your list also make them laugh? What would they include on the list?
  • Could you use a good laugh right now? Go online and visit Duckster’s collection of jokes. Simply choose a category to explore a list of entertaining jokes! Which ones make you burst into laughter? Make sure to share your favorites with a friend or family member.
  • Up for a challenge? Write and perform your own stand-up comedy routine. You can ask your teacher for permission to perform at school, or entertain your friends and family members at home. Create a short monologue or skit that will provide at least five minutes of entertainment. While you can always find jokes written by others, we encourage you to let your creative mind come up with your own jokes, insights, and funny observations. Consider the events happening in the world around you. Even the simplest everyday tasks can hold humor if you view them from the right perspective. If something makes you laugh, chances are others will find it amusing too! Enjoy yourself!

Sources of Wonder

  • http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/funny-or-die/361618/ (accessed 06 July 2020)
  • http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/want-to-live-longer-carry-on-laughing-1097285.html (accessed 06 July 2020)
  • http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter (accessed 06 July 2020)

FAQ

1. Does laughing really help you live longer?

Yes, laughing has been linked to a longer lifespan. Research suggests that laughter can boost the immune system, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals. These endorphins can help reduce pain and promote a sense of happiness and relaxation. Additionally, laughter can improve cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. So, incorporating laughter into your life can potentially contribute to a longer and healthier life.

2. How does laughter boost the immune system?

Laughing can enhance the immune system in several ways. It increases the production of antibodies and activates immune cells, such as natural killer cells and T-cells, which help fight off infections and diseases. Laughter also reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, which can weaken the immune system. Moreover, laughter triggers the release of neuropeptides, which are small proteins that regulate various bodily functions, including the immune response. By boosting the immune system, laughter can help protect against illnesses and contribute to a longer and healthier life.

3. Can laughing reduce stress?

Yes, laughing can effectively reduce stress. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which act as natural stress relievers. These endorphins promote a sense of relaxation and well-being, helping to counteract the negative effects of stress on the body. Laughing also stimulates the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can help shift our focus away from stressors and improve our mood. Additionally, laughter encourages deep breathing, which can trigger the relaxation response and further reduce stress. So, incorporating laughter into your daily life can be an effective stress management tool.

4. Does laughing really improve cardiovascular health?

Yes, laughter has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. When we laugh, our heart rate and blood pressure increase temporarily, similar to when we exercise. This increase in heart rate and blood pressure helps to improve blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Over time, laughter can improve the function of blood vessels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. Laughing also promotes the release of nitric oxide, a compound that helps dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow. So, incorporating laughter into your daily routine can have positive effects on your cardiovascular health.

5. Can laughter really reduce pain?

Yes, laughter can indeed reduce pain. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers. These endorphins can help alleviate both acute and chronic pain by blocking pain signals in the brain. Laughing also stimulates the production of natural opiates, such as beta-endorphins, which have analgesic properties. Moreover, laughter triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, which can help distract from pain sensations. So, incorporating laughter into your life can provide temporary relief from pain and contribute to overall well-being.

6. How can I incorporate more laughter into my life?

There are several ways to incorporate more laughter into your life. Surrounding yourself with humorous people, watching funny movies or TV shows, reading funny books or comics, and attending comedy shows are all great ways to expose yourself to laughter. Spending time with loved ones and engaging in activities that bring you joy and laughter can also help. Additionally, practicing laughter yoga or joining laughter clubs can provide structured environments for laughter. Remember to find humor in everyday situations and try not to take life too seriously. Laughter is contagious, so spread the joy and laughter with others!

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