The Power of Laughter

Written by Dr. Eric Perry

“Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.” ~Unknown 1900 BC

The worlds oldest recorded joke dates back to 1900 BC. This joke proves that toilet humor has been around for a very long time along with mankind’s need to laugh. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with the serious side of life. We have 24-hour news stations, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other forms of social media that can overload the senses. In today’s stress-filled society, finding humor in life and learning to laugh at ourselves is important. Research shows that laughter is not only good for the soul but is beneficial for health!

In honor of April being National Humor Month and to commemorate the passing of legendary comedian Don Rickles, who passed away this week at the age of 90, here are 5 benefits of laughter and some jokes to help shed some of today’s stress.

1. Lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones
“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my Pajamas I’ll never know.” ~Groucho Marx

Studies have shown that laughter can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10 points in just 20 minutes. When we laugh we reduce levels of stress hormones related to high blood pressure. Laughing triggers the stress response by reducing the level of stress hormones such as cortisol. A good laugh stimulates your blood circulation and provides your body with a mini workout. The next time you are feeling stressed, watch a funny movie. You will be amazed how much better you feel.

2. Boosts the immune system 
“I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.” ~Joan Rivers

Research has shown that laughter triggers the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is essentially the backbone of the immune system. This includes the lymph nodes which are the blood’s cleaning stations. Unlike the circulatory system which is pumped by the heart, the lymphatic system is moved by inertia in a semi-circular manner; always moving towards the heart. The good news is that the lymphatic system is activated by laughter. A good belly laugh will produce the necessary diaphragmatic breathing that is necessary to flush the system by increasing the speed and flow up to 15 percent. The increased flow causes more lymphocytes to be produced. The more natural killer cells we have circulating in our bodies the more immunity we have against sickness.

3. Triggers the Release of endorphins
“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.”~ Kevin James

When we laugh our brains release endorphins that create a feeling of joy and euphoria. Endorphins are the bodies natural painkiller and give us a greater sense of well-being. Research has shown that laughter can help ease chronic pain and increase the overall sense of wellbeing. Fifteen minutes of laughter can increase pain tolerance by around 10 percent as a result of the endorphins released by the brain. Laughter boosts our mood and our confidence. People who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight disease better than those who have a negative outlook.

4. Improves cardiac health
“Most people don’t realize this, but you can eat organic, all natural, gluten-free food without telling everyone around you.” ~Chris Rock

People who laugh a lot regularly have lower blood pressure than people who don’t. Studies have shown that certain personality types such as those who are hostile and angry have higher rates of heart disease. Other studies have examined the circulation in the blood vessels of two groups. The group who watched a stressful movie had their blood vessel lining constricted and circulation decreased. Those who watched an upbeat and funny movie had increased circulation and their vessel lining dilated. The effects of laughter have been found to last up to 24 hours. People with heart disease are 40 percent less likely to laugh than people without it. Laughter improves blood flow, reduces blood pressure and gives your heart a workout. Overall, it seems that positive and joyful people are healthiest.

5. Improves memory
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” ~Ellen Degeneres

In a recent study, a group of older adults were separated into two groups. One group watched a funny video for 20 minutes while the other group sat calmly with no video to watch. Afterward, they were given memory tests and had their saliva analyzed for stress hormones. Those who watched the funny video scored higher on short-term memory tests. Also, salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol were significantly less than the other group. It appears that the less stress a person has the better their memory functions. Laughter reduces stress hormones which lower blood pressure and elevates mood; resulting in better memory and recall.

It is important to develop a sense of humor and train ourselves to laugh more. Be willing to laugh at yourself! If you have a favorite joke or funny story please leave it in the comment section below so we can spread laughter and good health. Thank you for following and visiting this blog!

The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a professional relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a medical professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.

Dr. Perry

Copy of Dr. Eric Perry

“I help ambitious and high achieving individuals manifest a life of success and fulfillment in order to achieve the life they truly desire.”

Dr. Eric Perry |

The materials and content contained in this website are for general information only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users of this website should not rely on the information provided for their own health needs. All specific questions should be presented to your own health care provider.

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111 responses to The Power of Laughter

  1. samanthamurdochblog says:

    Great post, laughter really is the best medicine! Joke:
    Q: What do you call an exploding monkey…?
    A: A ba-BOOM!!
    (No monkeys were harmed in the telling of this joke…🐵 )

    Liked by 14 people

  2. Joonas Kopponen says:

    I have always felt that laughter is one of the best medicines. I have kept my humor up always and it has helped me survive some really nasty things in life. 🙂 It’s good to be able to laugh at nearly anything, especially yourself! What triggers my laugh easiest is situational comedy in the form of facial expressions and sounds during everyday life. My fiancé often provides me with many opportunities to laugh. 😀 We tend to laugh a lot when we are together.. Which is a very good thing. Great post!

    Liked by 4 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi Joonas, I am so glad you liked the post. I have to admit I enjoyed writing this and looking at different jokes 🙂 keep laughing and enjoying your life with your fiancé!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Very interesting! I liked the Joan Rivers joke in particular!!
    Here are a few of my favourite Christmas cracker jokes (…beware, they’re terrible!!!):

    Q: What’s green and sings?
    A: Elvis Parsley!

    Q: Why did the farmer plant the bulbs?
    A: So the worms could see where they were going!

    2 birds sitting on a perch. One bird says to the other, “Can you smell fish?”!

    2 fish in a tank. One fish says to the other, “Can you drive this thing?”!

    …sorry!!! 😛

    Liked by 4 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi Carly! These jokes are great! 😂 thank you for sharing and have a great day!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. updownflight says:

    What an excellent study about the befits of laughter! I also loved how you included a relevant short joke in each section. I loved it! One of the best posts I’ve read all day.

    I know all of these things are true. Take it from a woman with a mood disorder.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. heatherdawnfineart says:

    I love how we can heal ourselves naturally just by living. Thanks for sharing this with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joshua Bagby says:

    Re: benefit #5. I gather that the people who did not watch the video were not advanced meditators and were stressed out because they felt they had nothing to do. They must have been Type A personalities!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. charack says:

    WHAT?! National humor is limited to the month of April? Crap…..I’ve been over-celebrating. No wonder people sometimes look at me like I’m an overly-happy weirdo. 😉 I even made jokes when I found out that I had breast cancer (9 years ago!), and I fought my way through that hell with my wacky sense of humor. You’re so right about the health benefits of laughter. 👍🏼

    Liked by 4 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Thank you so much for reading and for your beautiful comment! Have a wonderful day and congratulations on kicking cancers butt!💪🏽

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Anita Bacha says:

    I have read your post with a lot of concern 😊 Wanted to find out about the benefits of laughter. I don’t laugh easily but when I do, I roll with laughter 🤣 Very good post! Thanks for sharing. Now I know what’s happening to my body and soul when I roll with laughter apart from the few drops of pee in my knickers 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 6. Its contagious 🙂 I recently saw a video where a guy just starts laughing uncontrollably for no reason on a subway then the rest of the subway started to laugh along with him for no reason!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Awesome words, laughter sure is a therapy and can cure so many ailments and u rightly have so nicely written and encouraged all of us with these wonderful way of practicing laughter. Thanks for the great share.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Raphael says:

    Lovely post! I had not heard any of these jokes before. Had a good laugh.

    Here’s one. Hopefully you’ve not heard it before.

    This chap is walking around in the wee hours of the morning with a cat. He is accosted by a stranger who wants to know why he’s walking around with a cat at that time of the night. He explains that the cat helps him tell what time it is. The stranger is curious as to how the cat accomplishes this feat. The man with the cat stomps on the cat’s tail and the cat lets out a bloodcurdling screech. A window opens a floor above and a man in a nightgown shouts: “Who’s making that racket?! Don’t you realise it’s 3 o’clock in the morning?! “

    Liked by 2 people

  12. TMH says:

    Good stuff! Improved my day, reminded me to watch more ‘Modern Family’, and I shared the one-liners with friends. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. These jokes are hilarious, thank you! I love Don Rickles – great tribute to him. Wasn’t aware of laughter’s effects on the lymphatic system. Thank you again. 💓😊 Unique post! Blessings, Debbie

    Liked by 2 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi Debbie so happy you liked it! I had so much fun writing this and I too love the jokes! Don Rickles was hilarious🙌🏼 have a wonderful evening 🌸

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think he was the landlord in Three’s Company for a while, if you ever watched that show. God, I haven’t thought of this in quite a while. So neat to connect, Eric. You have a lovely and strong presence on this blog. Debbie

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Mrs. Rewitae says:

    You have a really positive blog 🙂 I liked the way you express yourself and your article about laughter. Just wondering if this is also case for smiling, or should they be evaluated in different categories. I know I know laughter and smiles are both amazing features but I sometimes find laughters a bit.. extra whereas smiling would be always a nicer gesture for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. tigre23 says:

    Thanks for sharing, a good belly laugh always helps! It is often underrated but having laughing at anything silly really helps! It’s nice to share a laught with loved ones – even if it is at your own expense! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. indaygirlie says:

    It is true that the act of just lifting the lips as if to smile can brighten a mood somewhat. I imagine laughter would have an even bigger impact. I need to laugh more coz I have stopped becoming a walking encyclopedia.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for a clever, and well thought-out post on humor. Here’s a simple bit of humor. I married a woman, who had been married three times before. On the first night of our honeymoon, she had me sign multiple life insurance policies. I loved her, so I signed. Over a bottle of wine, I broached the subject of her first three husbands. I asked if they were alive, or all dead and buried? She thought a moment, and then said, “Oh, they’re all buried. I’m just not sure if the third one is dead yet.” I have a question. Does anybody know a good divorce lawyer?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. seekingGood says:

    This post made my day. Thank you!
    Do you think laughter (and perhaps dance) changes who and what we are? I think it does.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. trekking cottage apartment says:

    Ha ha ha great post im still laughing Dr Perry. I can see you like a good joke. I must admit I need to laugh more.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Miriam says:

    This was an absolutely wonderful post. Thanks Eric. Now for mine …
    A mushroom walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The barman says, we don’t serve mushrooms. The mushroom replies “aww, why not, I’m a fun-ghi 😄

    Liked by 3 people

  21. My son and I made a poster board picture on just this topic last year for his science fair at school, entitled “The Effects of Laughter on the Human Body.” One effect of laughter that you didn’t mention…it places pressure on the bladder, which (and we put this on our poster board) causes bladder leaks. Oops! Better empty that bladder before you laugh too hard 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  22. prior.. says:

    Aaaaah so much fun (and then of course your wisdom and heartfelt reaching out – 🙂 )

    walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. CattleCapers says:

    Great summary. When I feel like I’m spending my life foolishly by creating silly cartoons and goofy stories, it’s a great reminder that I’m actually doing people real good.

    Liked by 1 person

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