How good are the giggles? From a little chuckle at a well-timed meme to an out-loud chortle while listening to your favourite podcast on the train, to a ROFL (roll on the floor laughing) at the latest Netflix comedy special… everyone loves a good laugh. Aside from feeling great in the moment, laughing has many physiological benefits. Many of us will improve our health and wellbeing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this month. It’s a great opportunity to talk about the health benefits of laughter. Here’s how laughing more can help you:
Laughing Gives Your Abdominal and Core Muscles a Workout
Have you ever laughed so hard your belly hurts? Well, that rapid expansion and contraction of your diaphragm works similar muscles to when you’re doing crunches at the gym. Not only that, according to Men’s Fitness, the act of laughing helps reduce tension in your core, keeping you flexible. This isn’t to say you can substitute a workout session for a Netflix binge, but you can feel a bit less guilty watching that sitcom!
Laughing Releases Endorphins
A very quick rundown of endorphins: they are chemicals secreted in the brain that cause feelings of euphoria, satisfaction and increased tolerance to pain. They are typically released as a response to certain stimuli such as eating treats or doing exercise. A 2012 study found a correlation between laughing and an increase in pain tolerance through the release of endorphins. So, if you are ever out of Panadol, try checking out the latest fail compilations on YouTube for a quick dose of pain relief at the expense of others (sorry… but they are too funny).
Laughing Reduces Your Stress Levels
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that having a laugh or sharing a gag provides you with an escape from the stresses of daily life. But on a chemical level laughter causes a reduction in the production of cortisol and adrenaline, which are hormones that affect your stress levels. This could have far-reaching implications for your blood pressure and overall cardiac health.
For a blog about funniness and laughing, it’s getting awfully scientific up in here, so I think I’ll leave it there – we all know laughing is awesome. If you’re in Melbourne in April be sure to take advantage of all the international talent in town. If you’re in Sydney or in Brisbane don’t despair! The Sydney Comedy Festival kicks off on the 24th of April and with all these great comedians down under there’s bound to be some great acts hitting the Sunshine State.
As always, you can get in touch with us if you have any topics you’d like us to cover, or if you have any queries, or heck, if you want to just share a joke! Simply call Chelsea on 03 9963 4832 or email her directly.