Did you know that the average 4 year-old laughs 300 times a day, but the average 40 year-old laughs only 4 times daily? Approaching situations with good humor and taking the time to laugh can improve several aspects of your health, strengthen your relationships, and help you find happiness in life. Laughter helps to counteract stress, anxiety, pain, and conflict, and can even help you live longer.

Laughing can benefit your physical, mental, and social health both in the short term as well as the long term. The act of laughter actually triggers endorphins that reduce your blood pressure and cause your muscles to relax. It can even temporarily relieve pain! In the long term, it relieves your overall stress levels, boosts the immune system, and strengthens your heart. Benefits to your social health include defusing conflict, and reducing loneliness. People find themselves drawn to others who are in good spirits and laugh often. Laughing with friends, family, and colleagues can also strengthen relationships and enhance teamwork.

There are many things you can do to develop your sense of humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously – laugh at yourself! Take a step back in situations to see how you can find the humor in them, and try not to dwell on negatives. Humor can turn tension between people into an opportunity for restoring a sense of connection by lightening the mood. Remember funny things that happen to you and share those stories with others so you can laugh together. You can even take part in things like laughter therapy and laughter yoga, that focus on how laughter is contagious and physically beneficial.

Your Daily Chuckle:

  • What does a nosy pepper do? Gets jalapeño business.
  • What did the traffic light say to the other traffic light?  Don’t look, I’m changing!
  • What does a clock do when it’s hungry?  Goes back four seconds.
  • How do you organize an outer space party? You planet.
  • Where does the king keep his armies? In his sleevies.

Sources: Mayo Clinic. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.