Can you remember the last time you laughed so hard it hurt? Well it turns out, laughter really might be the best medicine. Laughing have very positive effects on your mental, emotional and physical health, and might even be able to make you younger. Laughter has been known to relieve stress, alleviate pain, connect with others, ward off certain types of germs, and so much more, not to mention, it just feels great. Studies have shown that laughing with friends can actually help build an even stronger bond and longer lasting friendships. In relationships, it can actually bring people closer together and instill more supportiveness in your partner.

 Laughing can even help you lose weight! When you laugh, your body is naturally exercising a variety of muscles. A study from the International Journal of Obesity showed that 15 minutes of genuine laughter can burn up to 40 calories. Laughing also increases blood circulation to all major organs, most importantly the brain. By increasing the blood flow to your face, you could even begin to look younger! When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, which are the same hormones responsible for relieving pain and stress, and they even boost your mood. Some experts even use laughter therapy in cancer care and treatment of other illnesses.

I know it’s not as easy as just “deciding to laugh more”, but by taking a few extra steps in an attempt to add more humor in your life can really go a long way. Spend more time around people who laugh, or people who make you laugh. Seek out sillier stuff to do throughout your day. Even just try finding the humor in stress filled situations. Making just a few adjustments to your life could keep you feeling young, happy and help you find even more enjoyment in your life, and who doesn’t need that?