Welcome to #SpoilYourselfSunday, where we celebrate simple and frugal ways to enjoy a little me-time. Today, January 24, is Global Belly Laugh Day, so we couldn't resist celebrating! With everyone on the prowl for ways to be more healthy in the new year, it can get a little exhausting, and not very fun. Let's bring the humor back into health! Pretty much everyone knows that laughing makes us happy. But did you know about these amazing health benefits of laughter? 
Click through to read 6 healthy reasons to spoil yourself with a belly laugh today!

1. Laughing burns calories and tones abs.

Did you know you can burn 40 calories just by laughing for 10-15 minutes per day? The more you laugh, the more you lose! Laughter also contracts your ab muscles, meaning you're getting the muscle-building benefits of an accidental "workout" every time you bust a gut. Time to call up your favorite funny friend!

2. Laughter helps prevent heart disease and heart attacks.

Indulging in a belly laugh a few times per day may help prevent buildup of cholesterol and fat in the coronary arteries, further reducing the risk of heart attacks! When you laugh, your blood vessels dilate so that blood flow is increased, causing an initial spike in blood pressure that settles back down into a sustained drop in pressure - meaning laughter is a great long-term solution for lowering your blood pressure naturally and helping to prevent heart attacks. A University of Maryland study also found that folks with heart disease are less likely to laugh in humorous situations. Go get your chuckle on - it's for your heart!

3. Laughing reduces the need for painkillers.

Would you believe that laughing can kill pain? In 2012, a group of Oxford psychologists published the findings of a study on the effects of laughter on pain; they found that the physical act of laughing actually increased participants' pain thresholds by about 10 percent. Basically, the muscle movements used by laughter result in the release of endorphins, our feel-good chemical, which help us better withstand acute and chronic pain.

4. Laughter also helps relieve stress and improve mood.

We all know the bit about endorphins, right? But laughter has a much larger impact on our stress: cortisol, the stress hormone, drops significantly after you laugh. In addition, not only does laughing increase our oxygen intake, therefore boosting circulation throughout the body, but it also leads to an overall drop in blood pressure and an increase in muscle relaxation that lasts for long after you've stopped chuckling. Basically, for your body, laughing is the total opposite of stress (inside and out), so get your guffaw on!

5. Laughing gives your immune system a boost!

Laughing and thinking more positively have been shown to benefit the immune system, too! Because stress hampers the immune system's ability to work, the stress-fighting effects of laughter also bring about an overall improved immune response. Laughter has been linked with higher numbers of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, as well.

6. Laughing improves memory and learning ability.

Lastly, laughter has the power to make you smarter! Well, kind of. A study from 2014 showed that older adults who watched funny videos performed more than twice as well on memory recall tests as a control group. Those who laugh more are better at learning and remembering things - so fight the effects of aging on your brain with a little more humor! 

What makes you laugh? Laugh with us on social media using the hashtag #SpoilYourselfSunday!

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