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Laughter and Senior Health: 7 Ways a Good Laugh is Good For You

What’s free, makes you feel good, and is actually good for you? Laughter! Especially for seniors, laughter offers an array of proven health benefits that are worth knowing about. Check out these important benefits… and how living in a senior living community such as Clearwater Living can bring a smile to your face every day. 

Laughter and senior health:  7 reasons to smile!  


Laughter reduces pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the act of laughter stimulates many organs in your body. It enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases endorphins released by your brain. These endorphins are natural painkillers, providing both physical and emotional release.


Laughter reduces stress.

When it comes to negative effects on the body, stress is no joke. Occasional bouts of stress are nothing to worry about. But when your body’s stress response doesn’t stop, it can take a big toll on your health, causing anxiety, depression, heartburn, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and lots of other undesirable outcomes. Lowering your stress by laughing more is an easy, free, and fun way to feel better, and give your whole body a break. Laughter and senior health are a perfect match. 


Laughter strengthens the immune system.

Some effects of laughter are immediate, but the great news is many of them are long-term. Consider that when you have negative thoughts, they can cause a chemical reaction that results in more stress. The result is a blow to your immune system. But, positive thoughts—especially something that stimulates laughter—can release neuropeptides that help fight stress and more serious illnesses. So watching a movie that makes you laugh actually helps your immune system grow stronger.


Laughter can lower blood pressure and improve circulation

Laughter and senior health is a powerful combination.Laughter can act like a tiny construction crew inside your blood vessels by widening the endothelium, the vessel’s inner lining. Whereas stress can narrow blood vessels, laughter increases vascular blood flow helping to lower blood pressure in the process. And the effects can last 24 hours. Studies have shown that people watching comedies may experience easier blood flow than those watching dramas.


Laughter makes you happy

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being. They also help reduce pain, improve sleep, help you maintain a normal body weight, and can even temporarily relieve pain. And when you are happy, you are better at problem-solving. Your learning skills increase. You’re more likely to see the positive side of things.


Laughter can help improve short-term memory 

For older adults, the damaging effects of aging and stress can impair the ability to learn and sustain memory. When we laugh, the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases and thus, our short-term memory will improve. Researchers found that showing a 20-minute funny video to healthy seniors and seniors with diabetes helped them score better on memory tests and significantly reduced their cortisol levels when compared to non-video watchers.


Laughter strengthens relationships and enhances benefits of socializing

Laughter attracts people, makes teamwork easier, diffuses tension and breaks the ice. Laughter breaks through barriers and brings people together. And you're more likely to laugh around other people than when you are alone. This is why a senior living community like Clearwater Living is ideal for enjoying laughter, whether in independent living, assisted living, or memory care. When you’re enjoying a funny story with a fellow resident, or showing a loved one in memory support an amusing video on your phone, you’re sharing a powerful gift.

And with so many opportunities to socialize at Clearwater Living—classes, exercise, dining, events, movies, and more—and so many positive-minded people around you, chances are high you’ll find reasons to laugh every day and joy in experiences that celebrate and honor who you are.


At Clearwater Living, we believe senior living should be inspiring, fulfilling, and filled with laughter.

Whether you’re moving into a Clearwater Independent Living, Assisted Living, or Memory Care community, each resident can discover a world of options that enable choice and empower successful aging. Call the community nearest you today!

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