Last Thursday was the start of a new month and was also a day of pranks and jokes. April Fool's Day has been around for hundreds of years; and, although its origin is unknown, it has been a day celebrated by many countries for playing pranks on coworkers, friends, family members, and even citizens of nations. If you were part of planning a prank or were the person who was on the receiving end of a prank, hopefully you were able to get a good laugh from it.
I'm sure that you have heard the old saying that "laughter is the best medicine." Well, there is some truth to this old saying. Let's take a look at what happens to our bodies when we laugh and what health benefits it can provide.
Check out these videos on why we laugh.
Now that we know why we laugh, let's look at why laughing may be beneficial to our health.
Laughing can provide us with both short term and long term health benefits.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some short term benefits of laughing include: stimulating the heart, lungs, and muscles by increasing the need for oxygen-rich blood. It also increases the release of endorphins (which help relieve stress and pain) from the brain. Because of this, laughter can help reduce stress by activating and relieving the stress response while increasing and decreasing blood pressure, leaving you feeling more relaxed.
Long term health benefits from laughing include strengthening the immune system. Laughter brings more positivity to our lives, which helps reduce negativity and stress, which in turn, helps strengthen the immune system. Laughter can also act as a natural painkiller and help reduce pain. It can also help us cope with the harder challenges of life.
As a health challenge this week, find the positive moments in life. Laugh a little more and enjoy the new month.