I’m about to give you an excuse to go ahead and watch that funny YouTube video, laugh at your friend’s inside joke for the tenth time today, and heck while you?re at it, why don’t you reblog that funny .gif from Tumblr as well…you can thank me later.
It turns out laughing is one of the best things you can do for yourself. From making friends, to staying healthy, even getting better grades, giggles got you covered.
Skeptical? Let’s consult the research:
- Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore found that laughter may help protect against heart disease. Doctors claim a good giggle could even increase circulation as much as a treadmill session.
- And since we?re talking about treadmill sessions, an intense bout of belly laughs works out your abdominal muscles. Now that beats crunches in the gym!
- Chuckles might even protect against illness. A Loma Linda University study found that disease-fighting immunoglobulin rose by 14 percent after subjects laughed.
- Turns out laughter can even conquer pain. A UCLA study discovered that people could withstand severe cold for 40 percent longer while watching comedies. Doctors suggest this increase in pain tolerance is due to the release of endorphins — those feel good, happy hormones.
- Taking a test soon? Multiple studies say you better get your laugh on first. A retired psychologist from Johns Hopkins Medical School found that students who took the “funny version” of his tests scored significantly higher than those who got stuck with the boring version. Over at the University of North Carolina, a psychologist showed students a video – either a funny clip of penguins (always a crowd pleaser) or a boring shot of lines. No surprise, the group who laughed with the penguins showed increased creativity and a better ability to solve complex problems.
- Shared belly laughs always make for instant BFFs. Research from the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that even randomly chosen pairs bonded faster when humor was involved.
- Laughter is equally important in the workplace. Boston University asked participants to grade their bosses. Bosses who were graded as “outstanding” used humor twice as much as “average” ranking bosses.
So go ahead and get a good laugh on. Doctors orders.