Laughter is anatomically caused by the epiglottis constricting the larynx. Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it’s not a real gut busting laugh, your body gets the same benefits from faking it.
Do you feel a softening in your chest? Can you feel all your abdominal muscles engage? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant?
According to Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D., a good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes afterward. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
It also 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 improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Not only is laughter the best medicine, it’s free!