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Laughing your way to brilliant benefits
It's no joke: Laughter could improve things for people when it comes to healthy living.
It is thought that there are a range of benefits associated with this common reaction to humour! So perhaps sticking on your favourite sitcom or going to see that comedian you love could help you in ways you're not yet aware of...
The sources of laughter
There are a variety of situations that might be home to laughter: Indeed, it's a pleasant sensation that can arrive at almost any moment!
Many of us scour the internet for funny stories to read, for example, as well as watching funny TV shows or listening to comedy on the radio because laughter is a great experience.
We might well head to a festive panto expecting laughter, and we certainly feel we'll have a giggle if we go and see stand up!
Simply being sat with your colleagues at work or your family at home can create a source of laughter in the right circumstance. It's one of the most lovely parts of life.
Often we're attracted to people, both when it comes to friends and potential romantic partners, if they make us laugh. And it pleases us if someone we want to like us laughs at things we say - at least when we're trying to be funny!
Some think that laughter is able to play a part in making you feel less stressed.
And several years ago, the American Physiological Society reported that a study had discovered that anticipating an experience of humorous and positive laughter could bring down levels of stress hormones.
It came after the same people who found this discovered that anticipating an experience of mirthful laughter gave a boost to hormones that protected health, back in 2006.
"Our findings lead us to believe that by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well," commented lead researcher Dr Lee Berk in a 2008 APS press release.
The 2008 study showed that anticipating a certain situation which might prompt laughter brought cortisol, adrenaline and dopac levels down in participants.
Ideas for laughing more
If there isn't much laughter in your life at the moment, why not take the time to do some things that could really add a little more humour to your life - it could make things much more fun, as well as funny!
Go and see a comedian: There are a range of different funny men and women out there and they often go on tour. If one comes to your town, you could treat yourself to an evening of laughter in their presence.
Give yourself a sitcom treat: With a box set of your favourite funny show, you could have hours of laughter on your hands - great for chilling out with after work!
Find some funny friends: People who really make you laugh can be among the best to be around, so seek out company that will put a smile on your face by chatting with people who say things that bring the giggles on!