Who doesn’t enjoy a good belly laugh? And not only does it feel good, studies show there are numerous psychological benefits to humor, jokes, and laughter, including reduced stress, stronger memory, and improved mental health. Read on to learn about some of those benefits as experienced by older adults who appreciate the joy of laughter.
A stronger immune system is one result of laughing more, supporting improved overall well-being, better blood flow and increased oxygen intake. Greater immunity helps you fight off some of the common diseases and complaints we’re more vulnerable to as we age.
Studies show that cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, is found in smaller amounts in people who laugh more often. Lowered stress levels also lead to lowered blood pressure and reduced muscle tension, resulting in fewer aches and pains and a better night’s sleep.
Reduces Blood Pressure:
Laughing helps improve the function of your blood vessels and increases blood flow throughout the body, lowering your blood pressure. All of this can help protect us from experiencing a heart attack and other cardiovascular issues.
Cortisol can cause your short-term memory function to deteriorate, but because more laughter means the brain is exposed to less cortisol and stress, it has more of a chance to heal itself and make room for more memories.
Promotes Physical Activity:
Laughter uses virtually all the body’s physical systems, including the muscles and nerves. When the entire body is engaged, it raises your energy and makes it easier to engage with others and get up and move.
Depression can affect seniors transitioning to a new phase of life, but laughter releases endorphins and can help decrease depressive symptoms. It can also help shift your focus from thoughts that lead to unpleasant feelings.
As you walk the halls of Golden West, you’re likely to hear laughter as residents chat with their neighbors, enjoy engaging activities and share time together in the dining room. Joy and laughter are a key part of the Golden West experience. To learn how, call (303) 444-3967, or visit gwboulder.org to schedule a tour of our open studio apartments.