In some studies, it is proven that laughing often and having a sense of humor can promote amazing health benefits for all ages, especially seniors. A sense of humor can get us through any hurdle we might face. It has various health benefits and will keep us sane for a period of time. To get through the worst of life, a giggle will help us cope with it. Read on to find out more about the importance of maintaining a sense of humor in the senior years.
The Health Benefits of Laughter
Whether we are sharing stories with family and friends or we are watching a hilarious TV show, getting a few laughs in can have some strong short-term effects. In addition, making a point to laugh may also improve our health outlook in the long term. Here are some short-term benefits of laughing:
- It enhances our intake of oxygen-rich air. This can help stimulate our lungs, heart, and muscles
- It decreases our heart rate and blood pressure. By doing so, it helps us feel more relaxed
- It relieves some of the physical symptoms of stress such as muscle tension
- It releases endorphins. Endorphines are brain chemicals associated with feelings of well-being and happiness
Long-term, constant laughter and embracing our sense of humor can also have some powerful effects on our well-being and health. Research has shown that a life full of laughter can lead to these benefits:
- It is a pain reliever. Endorphins and other chemicals that are released through laughing have been shown to act as “natural painkillers”. They help to provide both emotional and physical release.
- Improve blood flow and circulation. It is proven that people who watch comedies may experience an easier blood flow compared to those who watch dramas. In fact, laughing can also help lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
- Improve immune system. Humor and laughter are huge stress relievers. Without this relief, stress can build up within and can take a serious toll on our body’s ability to fight back diseases.
- Promotes better quality of life. Laughter is associated with better sleeping habits. Humorous people tend to find it easier to connect with other people during social interactions. In times of difficult situations, humor can make it easier to respond to situations. It helps counterbalance the effects of anxiety and depression.
Embracing the Power of Humor
Growing older can provide challenges for some adults. For caregivers, supporting an elderly loved one can sometimes feel overwhelming at times. Thus, finding the little moments of joy and laughter can help make these situations less stressful, and can help us appreciate the things that matter the most. To bring some laughter and levity to older adults, put on their favorite funny TV shows or movies. Bring them to local events or plays that will be sure to make them smile and laugh a little. Even something small like sharing funny videos of animals can bring some humor into their life.
Find little moments to be playful. Create inside jokes and try to laugh in moments that feel absurd or joyful. If we make a minor mistake, be gracious and try to laugh it off. These are great ways to break the tension and keep our minds sharp and live a happier life overall.