A healthy sense of humor can help you deal with tough times. Humor might seem like a soothing balm or a light diversion. But humor is much more powerful than something that simply lulls us or calms us down.


It’s an often-overlooked tool in our arsenal in the battle to maintain good health. During times when we are barraged with economic, social, political, and health problems, it’s wise to turn to a not-so-obvious way to protect ourselves. The myriad of health benefits of humor and laughter are wide-reaching.



During moments of levity, while it seems like you’re simply laughing at a friend’s joke or a comedian’s monologue, you’re improving your health. By tickling your funny bone, clinical evidence shows you are not only being entertained but enhancing your physical, psychological, and social well-being.


Physical Benefits

At its most basic level, laughter exercises your diaphragm. It enables you to take in more oxygenated air and stimulates your lungs. During those moments of raucous laughter, you are relieving physical tension in your muscles.


Laughter Can Boost Heart Health

While those muscles relax during what seems like a minor activity, medical professionals inform us that you improve your vascular functioning, too. As you laugh at hilarious events, your cardiac health improves. Laughter increases your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure.


Humor Brings Comfort and Eases Physical Pain

Let’s say you have a migraine, but you’re watching a hysterically funny Netflix show. As you watch and laugh, you may become at least somewhat distracted from the migraine pain and discomfort. But the distraction alone isn’t what reduces your pain perception.


Proven processes are working behind the scenes in your body to increase your pain tolerance. Endorphins, for example, get to work. Because you’re laughing up a storm, your body produces these natural painkillers.


Laughter Can Improve Sleep and Boost Immunity

Psychologist says that laughing heartily and a lot offers another physical benefit: Research shows it can improve sleep quality as well.



Overall, extensive laughter supports the immune system, which makes you more resistant to disease. By laughing, you are increasing antibody-producing cells and enhancing the effectiveness of T cells in your body. These cells act as a defense army to combat illness.


Psychological Benefits

Humor can alleviate the stress and anxiety we deal with during a variety of challenging times.


Laughing Reduces Stress

Clinical evidence shows that humor reduces stress hormones. Cortisol is a major stress hormone that circulates throughout your body when you’re stressed out. Decreasing levels of cortisol are important because high levels of cortisol tax your immune system.


When you’re preoccupied with something funny, you can’t simultaneously focus on the negativity. Humorous interludes can give you a break from worrying. That space, that place where you can let your hair down and breathe, in and of itself is beneficial.


Humor can provide a healthy perspective. Maybe after laughing, you discover a new angle on the problem. Perhaps you realize that you’ve gotten through other difficult periods and are reassured. With a new perspective, you might view threats such as challenges and problems as opportunities.



Or you might intentionally find the funny aspects of your stressful problem. If you’re embarrassed about something or need to forgive yourself for a mistake you made, you can use humor and laughter as a coping mechanism.


Humor Improves Memory

Another benefit of using humor that might surprise you relates to the brain as well. Using humor improves memory retention. When relevant humor is paired with a fact, you’ll have a better recollection of that fact.


Social Benefits

It’s more than OK to laugh together at things that are amusing, ludicrous, or absurd. Relationships benefit when you connect with others through humor.


Laughter Brings People Together

A shared laugh creates bonds between people. Most of us remember a time when laughter became contagious and spread fast from two people through a group. People usually feel closer after laughing together, too.


Laughter Adds Positivity to Conversations

Humor has another worthwhile social benefit: It creates more positive communication between people. Just by sharing a meme or telling a joke, the other person is more predisposed to want to talk to you. Using humor, especially during tricky conversations or disagreements, can pave the way for a better discussion. It diffuses tension and relaxes the other person.


Sharing funny stories will not only cheer up your friend, relative, or co-worker but will add to their well-being. They will likely walk away in a better mood and happier than before, too.


It all comes down to engaging with people humanly. To laugh at one of your traits or poke fun at yourself about a mistake you made requires a shared understanding of humanity.



Humor Helps You Understand Yourself and Others


Turn to whatever makes you laugh, especially during trying times. Those viral videos and funny memes are not momentary pleasures. They help us cope with anxiety, fear, and grief. At the same time, you’ll also be activating a host of health-related benefits for yourself and others.


Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.


Laughter is more than just something that feels good at the moment, it can have real benefits for your physical, psychological, and social well-being. You can bring more humor into your life by looking for opportunities to laugh. Seek out things that bring joy and laughter to your life, whether it is your favorite sitcom or a silly video.