Laughter- is it REALLY Healthy?

By Olivia Zoolakis

"Laughter is the best medecine"-- Fact or Myth?

Many people think that laughter is the best medicine. Although it is fun, is it really the best for you? There are positive and negative effects of laughter, and it's not always the best medicine.

Laughter has some negative aspects

Why it’s bad:

1. Weakened resolve

2. Fainting

3. Irregular heartbeat

4. Cardiac rupture

5. Inhalation of foreign bodies (e.g. gum drops, popcorn, peppermint bark)

6. Asthma attacks

7. Increased risk for lung collapse

8. Emphysema

9. Increased chance of spreading infections due to “exhaled airflow”

10. Sudden loss of muscle tone (don’t worry too much about this one – it’s temporary)

11. Headaches

12. Stroke

13. Protruding hernia

14. Dislocated jaw

A 50-year-old woman with a preexisting heart condition actually died after a fit of intense laughter, researchers said. There have also been instances where cracking up has triggered asthma attacks and hernias.

Benefits of Laughter

Laughter helps to relieve stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

Physical health benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

Social Benefits

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

Bringing more Laughter and Humor into your life

  • Smile
  • Count your blessings
  • When you hear laughter, move toward it
  • Spend time with fun, playful people
  • Bring humor into conversations

There are some minor drawbacks of laughing, but it really is the best medicine

The good things that come as a result of laughing outweigh the drawbacks of laughing. Laughing all day can burn 2000 calories and "cure" obesity. So relax and laugh a little; laughter really is the best medicine to make any situation better! :)