Laughter helps relieve stress, reduce pain

Whether it's a bad dad joke, or your favorite sit-com, a good laugh could end up saving your life. Mayo Clinic says laughter can not long relieve stress, but it can also reduce pain. And since today is "National Tell a Joke" Day, maybe laughing can help you feel better both mentally and physically.

ORLANDO, Fla. – We all know the saying; laughter is the best medicine. But is it actually?

According to The Mayo Clinic, laughter helps not only in ways of relieving stress, but can also reduce pain, and with National Tell a Joke Day on August 16, maybe it’s time to tell a joke and laugh a little. It may just help you feel better mentally and physically.

A good laugh can do the body good! Studies show that laughter relaxes the whole body.

A good hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.

It’s also decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure. As well as produces hormones that work as natural pain killers. Laughing also helps your immune system by releasing neuropeptides that help fight potential serious illnesses.

Some laughs can also help you lose weight. One study says laughing 15 minutes a day can burn 40 calories. That may not sound like a lot but that can add up to 4 pounds a year.

A good chuckle can also help women get pregnant. An NIH study showed that 16 percent of people trying to have a child were more likely to get pregnant when entertained by a medical clown.

And the best news, laughter may help you live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. So go ahead and laugh it will do your body good.

What if you just don’t feel like laughing? Even forcing yourself to laugh can be just as beneficial as the real thing. A Georgia State University study found that incorporating bouts of simulated laughter into an exercise program helped improve older adults’ mental health as well as their aerobic endurance.