Laughter is the Best Medicine
We all know that laughing makes us feel better, but do you really know why? Science is finding multiple interesting answers about the medical and psychological benefits of laughter.
We all know that laughing makes us feel better, but do you really know why? Science is finding multiple interesting answers about the medical and psychological benefits of laughter. For example:
- Blood pressure- Initially, a hearty laugh can cause blood pressure to rise, but then it decreases to below average levels and stays there.
- Hormones- Laughter reduces at least four stress hormones including epinephrine, cortisol, dopamine, and growth hormone.
- Immune system- Infection-fighting antibodies increase and the immune system is strengthened with laughter.
- Brain function- Laughing keeps the brain alert and enhances learning by stimulating both sides of the brain and easing muscle tension and psychological stress.
- Respiration- Belly laughter is similar to deep breathing. This allows more oxygen-enriched blood and nutrients to enter the body.
- Heart health- One study found that an active sense of humor may help prevent heart disease.
- Good workout- Laughter provides good cardiac, abdominal, facial, and back muscle conditioning.
In addition to all of this, laughter can be very important to mental and emotional health. It can lift our mood, lower stress, help us forget our pains and problems, and improve our relationships with others. So, if you need a physical or mental boost, try a good laugh.
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- Fry W, Rader C. The respiratory components of mirthful laughter. Journal of Biological Psychology, 19 (2): 39-50.
- Miller M, Fry W. The effect of mirthful laughter on the human cardiovascular system. Medical Hypotheses, 2009; 73 (5): 636-639.
- Clark A, Seidler A, Miller M. Inverse association between sense of humor and coronary heart disease. International Journal of Cardiology, 2001; 80 (1): 87-88.
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