We’ve all heard the phrase laughter is the best medicine. But beyond the trite recitation of folk wisdom, it turns out good humor really does carry serious health benefits. Laughter, being of good cheer, can measurably improve your overall physical reactions to a variety of conditions.
Consider allergies. Many of us deal with one allergy or another. Researchers in one study focused on people who were allergic to dust mites, and divided them into two groups. One was given a humorous Charlie Chaplin movie to watch, while the other group was subject to the Weather Channel. In the group that received the funny movie, researchers found their allergic response was markedly lower than in the Weather Channel watchers. Further, the lowered response did not end with the video. The effects lingered for hours after the participants sat laughing as they watched Chaplin’s antics.
Charlie Chaplin isn’t the key here; but the reaction he raised. Laughing, actual genuine laughter, is what changes how the body responds. When doctors track white blood cell counts, they found the count goes up after an hour of good humor. When someone is actually amused by something enough to laugh and be entertained to the point of good cheer, the body responds physically in positive ways. So laugh more and be well.
We’ve heard laughter is the best medicine. Turns out, it is. Stay cheerful and be healthy. #HealthStatus
- 1Feeling laughter and joy could possibly alleviate some allergic reactions.
- 2Experiencing something funny will boost your white blood cell count.
- 3Physically laughing affects immune function, and helps aid against illnesses.