The Latest on COVID-19 - Coronavirus. (updated March 31) Learn more >>
Visitor restrictions and screening process. Learn more >>
Your jaw is tight, your back hurts and you’ve got a headache. You’re not sick, you’re stressed out.
Ongoing mental stress can actually damage your physical health, setting you up for heart disease and memory loss, among other ailments.
But there are ways to loosen the grip stress can have on your body. Laughter is one of them.
A good laugh can be a crucial relaxation technique when you’re really stressed. And, it’s interesting to note, what makes you healthier is not the act of laughing as much as the side effects.
Think about a time you were truly cracking up about something. At that moment, were you thinking about your stressful day at work? When something strikes us as funny, we tend to stay in the moment, which benefits our mental health and relieves stress.
You breathe easier when you laugh. You relax a bit. Tension melts. When you’re relaxed, your blood pressure is lower. You sleep easier. Do you see the chain reaction?
Laugh hard enough and it might even feel like exercise!
Remember, you can’t fake it and get the same results. Forcing a laugh isn’t relaxing or fun, is it? It has to be genuine.
So how do you build more laughter into your life? The Mayo Clinic offers some great suggestions on its website:
How do you feel after a good chuckle? Share how laughter helps you in the comments!
If you have reached this screen, your current device or browser is unable to access the full Edward-Elmhurst Health Web site.
To see the full site, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you cannot upgrade your browser, you can remain on this site.