10/9/2012 1:48:00 PM Laughter really is the best cure
URBANA – It’s important for your physical and mental well-being to incorporate humor and laughter into your everyday life, said Cheri Burcham, a University of Illinois Extension family life educator.
“Adults really need to hear this message because they laugh an average of 15 times a day compared to a four-year-old who laughs once every four minutes,” she said.
Why is humor and laughter so important? The many physical benefits of humor include:
·Stimulating your cardiovascular system ·Dilating blood vessels, which increases oxygen to the lungs ·Reducing blood pressure and heart rate ·Improving t-cells and natural killer cells in the immune system ·Producing beta endorphins to induce euphoria
The psychological benefits of humor include:
·Relieving anxiety, distress, anger, and depression · Creating feelings of well-being, empowerment, and control ·Assisting in creation and maintenance of a positive attitude, hope, energy, and self-esteem