HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? CLICK HERE

CONCIERGE SERVICE

Monday - Sunday
8:00am - 8:00pm

SCHEDULE A VISIT

Tour any of our communities. Click here to get started.

CORPORATE OFFICE

162 College Highway
Southampton, MA 01073

Our Community Blog

Sunday, 02 April 2023 10:33

Laughter is Good Medicine for Older Adults

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

“Laughter is the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine.”

– Betrand Russell, philosopher (1872-1970)

No one really needs an excuse for a good belly laugh—right? But older adults sure have plenty of reasons to go out of their way for a good laugh. Laughing eases stress, promotes social bonding, helps lower blood pressure, and lifts your mood. Laughter also strengthens your body’s defenses against illness. The more you know about the health benefits of laughter, the more you’ll want to find ways to bring humor into your life!

Laughter and Health

The study of laughter and its effects on health has become an important topic in the field of psychoneuroimmunology. That’s a fancy word for the study of the way the mind (psych), the body (neuro/nervous system), and the immune system (immunology) interact when confronted by disease-causing agents such as stress, inflammation, or bacteria, and viruses. 

What we’ve learned from research on laughter is…

  • Genuine laughter (not canned or prompted laughter) activates several regions of the brain including those associated with mood, regulation of body temperature, pain management, attention and focus, arousal, digestion, blood pressure, memory and decision making. This activation has been seen on brain scans performed while someone watches something they find to be genuinely funny or while being tickled!
  • Laughter prompts the body to release the ‘feel-good’ hormone, epinephrine, which decreases pain sensation and promotes a state of euphoria (like the famed ‘runner’s high).
  • Laughter also promotes the release of hormones that soothe the nervous system, thus dampening the harmful effects of the hormones the body makes in response to stress. Regular bouts of laughter may even help to improve anxiety and depression.
  • Laughter activates the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for the body’s relaxation response, which bathes the body in lots of health promoting hormones that have an effect on organs such as the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, and muscles.
  • Laughter may help you live longer! Studies of people who report having more humor in their lives also have a longer lifespan. 

How Does Laughter Effect Health?

The health effects of laughter are activated in two ways: First, and most obvious is laughter in the moment—so as you are laughing, wonderful things are happening in your body and mind. Second, depending on the individual and the extent of the funny moment, those effect can last for minutes and up to a few hours. Most researchers theorize that the more occasions for humor and laughter in your life, the greater the cumulative effect on health!

BREAK OUT item (like a boxed item):  Do you remember the movie about the life of Patch Adams? Dr. Patch Adams was physician who embraced and modeled the restorative and healing benefits of laughter for critically ill patients. Now, “healing through humor” has a real place in medicine—not just for treating for the critically ill, but for routine healthcare, as well. 

7 Easy Ways Older Adults Can Laugh More to Support Good Health 

  1. Tell more jokes! About yourself, a situation, or choose a few jokes from these resources for older adults:
    Reader’s Digest Best Old Age Jokes
    Laughing Makes You Feel Younger: Jokes for Seniors
    Go to a comedy club with friends / family.
  2. Watch funny movies or a stand-up comedy show.
  3. Read comics or a funny novel.
  4. Spend time with children—they’re always finding something to laugh about!
  5. Cultivate a light-hearted approach to living life.
  6. Try Laughter Yoga – to stretch your funny bone!

At Everbrook Senior Living Communities, our Wellness 4 Later Life program keep residents inspired to live their best life. We embrace a holistic approach to support your physical, social, emotional, financial, and spiritual wellbeing. From personalized fitness programs to movie and comedy nights to clubs and social activities, there are plenty of opportunities for living, learning, playing, and laughing! 

We invite you to come see for yourself all that Everbrook has to offer. Call today to schedule a tour.    

Read 1349 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 April 2023 18:24
Karen M. Rider

Karen M. Rider, M.A. crafts credible and compelling health content to better engage readers in their own health journey. With 16 years of health writing experience, Karen has worked with a variety of healthcare organizations, senior living services, and medical practitioners to develop content that elevates consumer health literacy.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-m-rider
logo2x-big.png

Bringing the Best Solutions
to Seniors in Later Life.

162 College Highway
Southampton, MA 01073
©2024 Everbrook Senior Living. All Rights Reserved.
Website developed by Abacab Designs, LLC.

Search