One of the secret habits that boosts heart health is adding humor to the fabric of your being.
Humor (and laughter) are directly related to heart health.
- Sense of humor and heart disease have a negative correlation. This means that people with high levels of sense of humor are less likely to have heart disease. And those with major heart disease are more likely to have a low sense of humor.
2. Laughter has been shown to lower blood pressure (a risk for heart disease) and increase the elasticity of the endothelium walls which are critical for a healthy heart.
3. People with chronic anger and hostility are much more likely to have heart attacks, and the experience of humor (as it activates “mirth” the emotional impact of humor) reduces anger and hostility.
4. Stress has been linked to heart disease, and adding humor to the fabric of one’s life reduces stress emotionally, physically and biochemically (reduces serum cortisol).
5. Chronic anxiety has also been linked to heart disease; specifically people who are chronically anxious have a greater thickening of the arterial walls. The experience of humor reduces feeling anxious and therefore likely reduces the thickening of the arterial walls.
Bottom line increasing one’s experience of humor (adding humor into the fabric of one’s life) is highly likely to have a positive impact on heart health by helping people shift emotion, cognition, and physiology all of which are related to heart health.
I experience at least 30 minutes of humor each day. The research on humor and heart disease indicates that there is a correlation between the experience of humor (as well as having a sense of humor) and heart disease. Those experiencing humor have improvements in the blood vessel lining, lower blood pressure, fewer heart attacks, and need less heart medication.