Laughter is the best medicine

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Whoever said “laughter is the best medicine” wasn’t kidding. There is nothing quite like a good laugh for making you feel good. And there is actual scientific evidence that backs this up.

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing has both short-term and long-term physiological benefits and is a great form of stress relief. In the short-term, laughter — due to the increased intake of oxygen-rich air that it provides — stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases endorphins released by your brain. And it stimulates circulation and muscle relaxation.

Over the long-term, laughter can improve your immune system by releasing neuropeptides that help fight stress and possibly illnesses. It can also relieve pain by stimulating the body to release natural painkillers, improve your mood and help you connect with other people.

One of the best aspects of laughter is that everyone can develop their sense of humor. Look for funny books, TV series, radio shows and movies. If you like comedians, YouTube is a great vehicle for finding and enjoying your favorites. Netflix is handy for watching funny TV series — those both new and no longer showing in primetime. Seek out humor in your daily life and reap the benefits.

Lili Schroppe