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Is laughter the best medicine?


We know that eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and having an annual checkup by your Family Physician are all part of a healthy lifestyle, but there's one key factor missing from this: laughter. When you hear people say "laughter is the best medicine," they are absolutely right. However, the medical benefits of laughter go beyond cheering someone up. Studies have shown time and time again that the physical effects of smiling and laughing can significantly improve our health.

Some of the health benefits of smiling and laughing are:

  • Lessening pain: endorphins act as a natural pain killer[1]
  • Extended life expectancy: around 7 years longer than those who smile and laugh less frequently
  • Reduced risk of cancer: cells experience a release in tension, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cell-mutations that occur in the development of various cancers[2]
  • Boosting of the immune system: stress hormones decrease while antibodies and immune cells increase[3]
  • Exercise: the lungs expand while muscles stretch, stimulating homeostasis and replenishing oxygen cells[4]

Send a Smile

Since smiles and laughter can lead to a longer, healthier life, Methodist Health System wants to spread the wealth of giggles this year on World Laughter Day! Now until May 1, we're inviting you to share what makes you laugh with friends and family.

  1. Click on the image below or go to
  2. Find a joke that makes your endorphins run wild
  3. Pick which loved ones need a hearty laugh
  4. On May 1, the smiles will be sent in celebration of World Laughter Day!

Don't forget to share what makes you laugh on social media! Use the hashtag #MethodistSmiles to share your humorous one-liners, or the latest dad joke that made your kids face-palm. More importantly, share the news about the heart-healthy benefits of laughing and smiling each day!

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