Less must-do. More want-to. | Spring 2023
Levity for Longevity
There’s a possibility that one of the best things you can do for your health is to make life lighter for those around you. Being funny and approaching the world with levity can have profound effects on your well-being.
When speaking with the New York Times, Naomi Bagdonas, a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, said “Levity is a mind-set. It’s looking for reasons to be delighted rather than disappointed in the world around you.” Tanner Garrity from Inside Hook tells us to think about the daily “micro-battles” we face everyday. Dinner table debates. Long lines at the store. Traffic jams. These things bother us and our fight or flight response kicks in—that’s stress! If we can take a breath and look for the lightness and humor in the situation, we can keep the stress at bay and possibly keep ourselves healthier, longer.
The health benefits of levity and laughter can be many. In addition to bettering your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension, people with a sense of humor have more self-esteem, more friends, more robust careers and they live longer.
Studies have shown that humor and laughter can:
- Positively impact your mood. It helps you connect with others, improves your self-esteem and can lessen depression and anxiety.
- Help reduce pain by releasing endorphins—those fabulous natural painkillers.
- Strengthen your heart. When you laugh, you bring in more oxygen-rich air which stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles and lowers your blood pressure.
- Boost your immune system. Positive thoughts release neuropeptides that fight stress and potential illness.
- Improve your mental well-being.
- Alleviate stress. Humor can be a distraction from worry and it may help you reframe the way you view your situation.
- Help to create and strengthen bonds between people by diffusing tension and building more positive interactions. It can also help you build empathy, compassion and forgiveness.
- Help you live longer!
Not feeling funny? Here are a few tips to help improve your sense of humor:
- Spend time with friends who make you laugh.
- Keep funny things around, like comic strips or greeting cards. Go to a comedy club or listen to podcasts. Make a list of funny movies, books or videos that you can go to when you need a chuckle.
- Try to find the light side, and laugh about your own experiences and situations.
- Try laughter yoga–it’s forced at first, but quickly becomes genuine.
- Be mindful. Choose humor that finds lightness in life’s difficulties and works to bring people together in a positive manor. Making fun of others, or yourself, is never the best idea.
Laugh more with new friends at Duncaster. A maintenance-free lifestyle and healthcare security can free you up to enjoy the lighter side of life. Call Lisa Greene, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, today at (860) 380-5006 to schedule your personal tour.
Want to Live Longer? Embrace Your Inner Goofball.; Tanner Garrity for Inside Hook
National Institute on Aging