Whether we’re starting good habits or kicking bad ones, the new year is a time when we strive to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. And there’s one thing you can do right now to get started. Ready?
Humans laugh and smile in every culture across the globe. Babies giggle and grin even before they can distinguish sounds or see in full color. That’s why laughter is something we often take for granted – but scientific research suggests it has more benefits than we think.
Laughter really is the best medicine. It can make you:
- Happier. It’s no surprise laughter and cheer go hand-in-hand … even when you aren’t laughing at anything at all. Forcing a laugh or a smile can still make you happier, studies show. If you notice yourself frowning, try to smile instead – it may help to improve your outlook.
- Healthier. A good chuckle improves your oxygen flow, which helps you focus. It also generates hormones and neuropeptides that can lower your blood pressure, boost your heart health and strengthen your immune system. And – while it won’t make up for skipping the gym – a hearty laugh can be a workout, too. Fifteen minutes of laughing can burn up to 40 calories, roughly equivalent to five minutes of brisk walking.
- Friendlier. Getting the giggles is contagious: we’re 30 times more likely to laugh with friends than alone. It can make us more social, too. One study from the University of Liverpool and Kent found that participants were more generous after watching a funny film; another reported that laughing helped strangers become friends faster.
At The Glenridge, we’re starting the year off smiling with a visit from lauded comedian Keith Alberstadt at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center.
The Glenridge Speaker Series brings an array of experts to delight our community with performances and seminars throughout the year.
If you’d like to learn more about our community or to schedule a tour of The Glenridge, click here, or give us a call at 941-552-5369. We look forward to hearing from you!