Why Humor is the Best Medicine for Teens With Chronic Illness

Did you know that whenever you go your local movie theater to watch a new comedy movie or open up Instagram or iFunny to look at some funny memes, you’re actually boosting your immune system? Laughter causes the body to decrease the hormones that cause stress in your body (cortisol) and increases immune cells and disease-fighting antibodies in your body!

Red ugandan knucklesSpeaking of memes, while you’re laughing at Ugandan Knuckles struggling to “find the way”, you’re also helping your body staying sick and stress free. Not only does laughing boost the immune system by decreasing cortisol levels, it helps lower your blood pressure due to the amount of stress being lifted. This helps blood circulate easier and sends more oxygenated blood to the brain!

If you don’t think that’s cool, I’ve got a couple of more fun facts about laughter and your health that you may or may know. You can tell me which of the facts stood out to you the most in the comments. Laughing doesn’t also just boost your immune system but it also helps you to burn calories, which I found pretty cool. Now you’re not gonna get a six pack just from binge watching all the seasons of The Office or Parks and Recreation (trust me I’ve tried), but, laughing has been proven by scientists to burn up to 10 to 40 calories. Depending on your weight and the intensity of the laughter, in a full year with enough laughing you could lose up to 4 pounds and maybe more!

Humor is a great way to deal with a lot of day to day problems you may struggle with. I know if I’m ever feeling down, watching something funny or goofing around with my friends definitely makes me feel a lot better than I did before. If I’m feeling nervous or I’m in an awkward position, making a joke always helps diffuse the tension. This is because when you laugh it releases a chemical into your brain called serotonin which is literally the chemical that makes you feel happy. A study has even shown that people who have a sense of humor have outlived people without one (especially in patients with cancer!), and if you don’t think that’s amazing there’s tons of more benefits from laughter.

Humor is a great tool for not only health reasons but just for life in general — everything is a lot easier to deal with when you can do it with a laugh and look at things from a funnier side!