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A Happy Heart is a Healthy Heart
When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Not only is it free of charge, research shows that laughing can actually strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, alleviate pain and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.
But the question we often hear is, “How?” How can something as simple as humor help your heart and health?
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems
With so much power to heal, the benefits of laughter don’t stop there. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy.
Find a way to create a little more laughter each day. A few ideas include organized fun with friends or children, playing with a pet, making time for fun activities or checking out your bookstore’s humor section.