I spent my morning with two five-year-old boys—twins at that.
Besides providing dance entertainment and a natural stimulant (a caffeine high better than a shot of espresso), these two sincerely made me laugh. It was truly a fantastic way to start a Friday morning, and it made me think to myself, why does laughter make me feel so good?
Smiles and laughter are no stranger to my lifestyle. In fact, if I’m not doing one or the other, I get questioned almost immediately. Maybe it comes with being a chronic extrovert?
My co-worker, Ben, on the other hand, considers himself an introvert. He enjoys his alone time and silence, which is why I think I am so amused when I hear a genuine, busting-a-gut chuckle from the other side of the cubicle. It’s videos like this… and this that really get him going. I think the whole team smiles. And again, I wonder, why simply hearing someone laugh makes me feel so good? I wanted to know.
Here’s why laughter makes you feel good:
- It triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are a special chemical in your body that makes you feel good (and can temporarily relieve pain). There are a number of things in addition to laughter that can trigger an endorphin release, including exercising, eating hot peppers, and smelling lavender. It’s like your own personal, natural narcotic… use it. #WithDiscretion
- Laughter relaxes your body. A gut-busting laugh like Ben’s can help relieve stress and tension throughout your body. But you know what’s the best part? This sense of relaxation can last up to 45 minutes!
- It rids you of negative feelings. Think about it—you can’t be mad, sad, or nervous when you’re consumed with laughter. If only we could live our lives inside a comedy club…
- Laughter can release inhibitions. Laughter can connect people, making them feel comfortable and thus provide personal satisfaction. Just relax, let loose, and laugh. You’ve got nothing to lose!
- It boosts your T cells. While T cells may not make you feel good immediately (like endorphins), they sure can keep your body feeling good over time. T cells help fight off sickness when they are activated. Can you believe it? Laughter can help to fend off a cold!
So there you have it. If you didn’t have a reason to do it before, well, now you do. Do me a favor and laugh a little today… it’s Friday! And if you want to really get healthy, try laughter yoga (now that shit’s cray).
Featured photo via tumblr.com