As a student, it’s easy to feel like you are constantly stressed out. Balancing class, work, and personal time can be extremely hectic and take a toll on your well-being. Although stress is a normal part of everyday life, we want to minimize the negative impacts stress can cause to help keep a positive and healthy mindset.
You know that they say “laughter is the best medicine”. Although this popular anecdote should not be taken too literally, it is true that there is a multitude of benefits to adding laughter to your daily life. Keep reading for some research-backed reasons laughter helps relieve stress.
Physical Health Benefits of Laughter
There is no shortage of health benefits cited by researchers. Here are some of the top ways that laughter positively impacts your physical health:
- Immune system boost: Stress can manifest itself in physical ways - negative thoughts turn into chemical reactions that make you more susceptible to getting sick. Laughing helps you adopt a more positive mindset and releases infection-fighting neuropeptides and antibodies that fight stress.
- Stimulates organs: when you laugh, you inhale more oxygen-rich air. This can help stimulate your muscles, lungs, and heart.
- Assist with weight loss: When you’re experiencing chronic stress, it’s common to gain weight as a result. Laughing can reduce the stress hormones that cause this weight gain.
- Relaxes muscles: When you’re stressed, your muscles tend to tense up. Laughter can relieve physical tension in your body for up to 45 minutes.
- Better heart health: Laughter improves vascular function and can even decrease your risk of heart attack by increasing your heart rate and the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- Lower blood pressure: When you laugh, your body releases endorphins that counteract stress hormones – and, as a result, lower your blood pressure.
Mental Health Benefits of Laughter
Beyond the physical benefits, there are several benefits of laughter for your mental health:
- Increase endorphins: Endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical, are released in your brain when you laugh. This can help fight stress and put you in a positive mood.
- Improves mood: A good laugh is a perfect remedy for a bad mood. When you laugh, you get a general feeling of well-being.
- Reduce stress hormones: The primary stress hormone, cortisol, circulates through your body when you’re feeling stressed. When you laugh, you increase your oxygen intake, causing decreased cortisol levels.
- Provides distraction: Laughing puts you in a good mood and helps you take your mind off of whatever was stressing you out.
- Strengthen bonds: There’s nothing like a good laugh to help you feel more in tune with family and friends.
Whether you’re a homemaker, finance banker, or even a doctorate of nursing student, laughter can help mitigate your stress levels. Laughter has countless benefits when it comes to reducing stress and improving your mood, and it’s important to maintain a healthy mindset by getting your daily dose of laughter.
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