April is National Humor Month, and it’s no joke: laughter is truly the best medicine. A daily dose of laughter can improve both physical and mental well-being. As we grow into adulthood, we tend to laugh less than we did as children. By incorporating humor into your everyday life, you can reduce stress, improve your health, and strengthen your relationships with others.

Laughter is a great stress reliever. Research has shown that laughter reduces levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. It also increases endorphins, improving your mood. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland found that laughter improves blood flow to the heart. This results in greater relaxation and resistance to disease. According to The American Heart Association, the positive effects of a good laugh can last for up to 24 hours!

Humor can also boost morale in the workplace. Humor at work inspires creativity, reduces burnout, and relieves stress. Humor can also reduce tension in difficult situations by restoring a sense of connection and lightening the mood.

No matter your sense of humor, celebrate this month with a good laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and learn to find the humor in the difficult situations in life.

Laugh it off!

  • Read a funny book or comic
  • Watch a short clip to brighten your day
  • Try to keep things light, and avoid dwelling on negatives
  • When you find the humor in life, share it! Remember funny things that happen to you and share those stories with others so you can laugh together.

Sources: American Psychological Association, American Heart Association. 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.