When was the last time you had a true, honest-to-goodness laughing jag? The kind where your mouth and stomach hurt from the amazing pain of hilarity, even if you can't quite remember what started it in the first place? Well, it might be time to get back to that place.
Many studies have linked a positive outlook on life with increased longevity, and a 'sense of humour' is one of the top attributes cited when looking for a mate. But what are all those chuckles actually doing for your body?
The folks at Greatist.com have put together an infographic spelling it all out -- in anatomically correct detail. Take, for example, issues with the thyroid, which can be aggravated by stress. Start to laugh, stress starts to dissipate -- and your immune system receives a much-needed boost.
But what about those who don't have a strong sense of humour, or find it difficult to laugh? You could start with movies or TV as a test stage for what you find funny, as suggested by David Laing, a clinical hypnotic consultant based in the U.K. But we prefer his easier-to-implement suggestion of 'faking it until you make it': "Smile more often, and fake laughter; you'll still achieve positive effects, and the fake merriment may lead to the real thing."
Check out the ways in which laughter can lead to great benefits for your body -- and find something to giggle about today:
Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com