Can Laughter Improve Your Heart Health?

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People always say that laughter is the best medicine, but medicine for what exactly? As it turns out laughter is the best medicine to keep your heart and body healthy, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

{These 2 funny guys laughed themselves thin…with the right diet too, of course!}

It’s not just laughter that makes you healthy but it’s what laughing means that’s so compelling. Keep reading to find out how laughter can improve your health and your finances!

Stress & Weight Gain

It’s no secret how stress can negatively impact your ability to lose weight and can in fact lead to weight gain. When we feel stressed out we tend to make decisions based on instant gratification—whatever will alleviate the stress NOW is what we do, regardless of how it impacts our ability to lose weight.

The behaviors we exhibit when stressed are more responsible for weight gain than any physiological factors. Whether it’s poor food choices or making the decision to skip a workout, these are the actions that can contribute to weight gain and sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Unfortunately it isn’t just the numbers on the scale that increase with stress; it’s also the numbers in your bank account. According to the same study in the American Journal of Health Promotion, the subjects who practiced Transcendental Meditation had lower health care bills than the subjects who did not use meditation to deal with stress.

Fewer visits to the doctor means an overall healthy you, and more money in your pocket means more money to spend on clothes to match your thinner, less stressed body!

Identifying Stress

One of the keys to dealing with stress so that it doesn’t affect your ability to lose weight, is recognizing the symptoms of stress when they arise. By recognizing the symptoms you’re in a better position to cope with stress in a healthy way.

Some of the symptoms of stress can be confused with other symptoms so it is up to you to identify which of these you feel when you’re stressed;

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Change in sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Overeating
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sadness
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Under-eating

These are just some of symptoms, which can also be found in a host of other health problems. But by identifying which of these behaviors you exhibit when stressed can help you figure out how to deal with the inevitable stressors in life.

One of the best ways to cope with stress isn’t to vegetate in front of the television, it is to actually get up and get moving about! Take a run in the park, spend an hour boxing or hop in the pool for an hour of laps. In fact exercising the stress away is a great way to stay in shape while you alleviate stress.

Happiness & Weight Loss

Just like stress can have a negative impact on your weight, being happy can have a very positive impact. You see when you’re happy you feel more motivated to accomplish goals, like weight loss goals, which can help you achieve those goals.

Unlike stress, which sucks the motivation out of you and makes you sad, happiness gives you a sense of hope that you can do the impossible. When you feel like you can do what needs to be done to lose weight, you can do it.

{Ever notice how you forget what’s bothering you when you’re laughing?}

This doesn’t mean that you need to walk around smiling weirdly like you’re on happy pills; it just means that you need to develop a happier attitude about life in general and weight loss specifically. When we’re stressed we tend to bottle up those negative emotions and let them fester rather than do things to tackle that stress. When you’re happy you’re less likely to sit in front of the television depressed about your inability to lose weight or find a job or land the perfect mate.

Feeling happy makes you want to go out and try to make those things happen for you, which usually has the consequence of helping you lose weight, get the job and land the guy or girl of your dreams!

Laughter for Fat Loss?

Does being happy mean that the very act of laughing can help you lose weight? Well the science is still out on this specific fact, but what we do know is that a good sense of humor and a positive outlook can positively affect your weight loss efforts. Just think about how you felt after a good bout of laughter.

Your muscles stretch, you breathe faster and your blood pressure goes up which gives you the same sensation as a mild workout, only slightly more fun. And what’s best of all according to Maciej Buchowski from Vanderbilt University, 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can burn as many as 50 calories. It isn’t a massive amount of calories, but the effects of laughter mimic those of exercise which we know improves heart health and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Whether or not laughter can actually help you drop a pound, it does have many positive attributes that make it ideal for weight loss. You feel better when you laugh, which makes you feel better about the things you don’t like about yourself like your weight. The more you take a positive attitude about your weight loss the more likely you are to achieve your weight loss goals.

What It Means

Simply being happy and having a positive attitude isn’t a guaranteed path to quick and easy weight loss, but it does give you a greater chance of success. Having a positive attitude makes goals seem more attainable, which makes you likelier to stick to your healthy eating plan and weight loss regimen.

Sometimes you just need help controlling your appetite during stressful situations and intermittent fasting can help. Read our Eat Stop Eat review to find out how intermittent fasting can help you stop over-eating.