The jokes that work as a painkiller, help anxiety and fight dementia

    Heard the one about laughter being the best medicine? Turns out it’s no joke.

    Experts think we should forget painkillers and instead share a good old giggle with our loved ones.

    Japanese researchers found that older people who regularly shared a laugh with friends and family were less likely to develop health problems compared with those who laughed alone.

    Giggling with grandchildren was linked to a 38 percent decrease in the chance of needing help with daily tasks in your seventies and eighties.

    Meanwhile, chortling with your partner lowered the risk by 39 percent and with friends it was 29 per cent.

    Dr. Kenji Takeuchi, who led the study, of Tohoku University in Japan, said: “It has long been thought that laughter in daily life has health benefits.

    “However, most studies have focused only on the frequency of laughter in daily life, with little focus on the types of situations in which laughter occurs.”

    The research tracked more than 12,500 people, aged 65 or older, for an average of six years.

    The participants completed questionnaires on how often they laughed and whether it was alone — for example, while watching television or reading — or with other people, to identify factors associated with their wellbeing.

    In a separate study, the same team of researchers found that people who chuckled regularly were 40 per cent less likely to develop conditions such as dementia, compared with those who hardly ever laughed.

    To help you giggle your way to better health, here we present a selection of top family-friendly jokes.

    When you laugh, the body releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers.
    Getty Images

    WHY couldn’t the pony sing?
    It was a little horse.

    HOW do you find actor Will Smith in the snow?
    You follow the fresh prints.

    WHAT did one toilet say to another?
    You look flushed.

    WHY couldn’t the sailor learn his alphabet?
    He kept getting lost at “C”.

    DOCTOR, doctor, I feel like a wigwam and a marquee.
    The problem is you’re too tense.

    WHAT did the cheese say to the mirror?

    WHY did the photo go to jail?
    It was framed.

    WHY did the grasshopper go to the doctor?
    He was feeling jumpy.

    WHAT lights up a football stadium?
    A football match.

    HOW does the moon cut its hair?
    Eclipse it.

    WHY should you take an extra pair of socks when you play golf?
    In case you get a hole in one.

    WHAT musical instrument is found in the bathroom?
    A tuba toothpaste.

    WHAT do you call a group of strawberries playing guitars?
    A jam session.

Laughing is also associated with lower levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
    Laughing is also associated with lower levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
    Getty Images/Westend61

    WHAT is a tornado’s favourite game?

    WHAT prize does the Dentist of the Year get?
    A little plaque.

    WHY do you say “break a leg” before someone goes on stage?
    Because every play has a cast.

    I TOLD my wife she was drawing her eyebrows too high . . .
    She looked surprised.

    WHAT do you call birds that stick together?

    WHY did the dalmatian go to the optician?
    He kept seeing spots.

    AN Englishman, a Scot and an Irishman walk into a bar.
    Bartender says: “Is this some kind of joke?”

    WHY did the mushroom have so many friends?
    He was a fungi.

    WHAT do you call a lamb in a tutu?
    A baa-llerina.

    WHY did the trees get arrested?
    They’d been doing shady business.

    WHAT do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?
    A thesaurus.

    WHAT did the policeman say to his belly button?
    You’re under a vest.

    This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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