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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

April 21, 2020

Tuesday Health & Wellness Tidbit - from your (Rural) Stress Transdisciplinary Team

Submitted by Rachael Clews

A picture I took of a tractor with a joke added with text

The Benefits of Laughter Are No Joking Matter.

In times of stress and anxiety, it is important to keep a routine, stay connected with friends and family, exercise and eat right, and get plenty of sleep. However, most people do not realize the importance of adding laughter to the equation.

We all know the saying, “laughter is the best medicine,” but what exactly makes laughter so medicinal? Research shows that laughter has both short-term and long-term health benefits.

Short-term Benefits

Having a good laugh helps to produce an overall relaxed feeling and helps to reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress by:

• Increasing oxygen intake and circulation
• Stimulating the heart and lungs
• Lowering blood pressure
• Releasing endorphins
• Aiding in muscle relaxation

Long-term Benefits

Laughter is not just about a quick chuckle; laughter has some great benefits over the long term. Laughter may:

• Improve the body’s immune system
• Act as a natural painkiller
• Make it easier to cope with challenging circumstances
• Increase connections with others
• Improve mood

During these uncertain times, it is okay to take a break from the serious. Find out what makes you laugh – a sitcom, corny jokes, animal videos, etc. Laugh often. Laugh with others. Reap the benefits.