Why laughter is the best medicine and how it affect our body and mind?

by | Health & Fitness |

Laughter is the best medicine for our body and mind

Laughing is infectious, looking at someone smiling naturally makes you reciprocate, even if you are having a rough day. Laughter is a natural response to stimuli that our individual personalities find funny, whether in the form of images, sounds, physical sensations, or memories. Laughter is also a social mechanism, by which we make friends and connect with others. We often laugh at other people laughing, or at banal statements that are decidedly un-joke-like. The social phenomena of laughter is an important aspect of humor, but its’ connection to health is not widely studied.

How does it work?

The physical response of laughter is very fast. After our senses are exposed to something “funny”, an electric current runs through our nervous system to our cerebral cortex. The higher brain functions in the left hemisphere decode the words and the syntactical structure in a very analytic approach to the information, while the more creative right hemisphere understands the humor, or “gets it”. The visual center of our brain then forms an image of the humorous idea, while our emotional (limbic) system releases chemicals that improve mood or promote happiness. Finally, our motor functioning makes us laugh, smile, or double over for a real knee-slapper. Humor is also a way to increase retention of information in academic or professional settings because of the higher number of mental connections between the information and emotional responses (laughter).

Obviously, your health-related problems can't be magically cured if you start laughing but stress only adds to the problem. So if you see any humoral activity around you, use the most powerful tool - humor - to turn that stress upside down.

Even research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. Studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity.

In fact, laughter is a big deal. And has been shown to have many beneficial effects on the human body in different ways.

Laughter

Just check out these health benefits of laughter -

  • Laughter has been shown to reduce the levels of certain stress hormones in the body.

  • laughter can also increase the number of beneficial hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters in the body. By increasing the level of endorphins in the body, studies have shown that a subject’s threshold for pain is increased, making laughter, in a sense, a painkiller or a pain dampener. An increase in neurotransmitters means that your brain is able to function faster, make connections more rapidly, and comprehend situations and problems at a higher rate.

  • Laughter can even go so far as to help you stay healthy. It has been widely studied that laughter can stimulate antibody cells to develop at faster rates by changing the body’s chemistry through hormonal shifts.

  • laughter involves deep exhalations which lower the heart rate and blood pressure and you enter a calmer state.

  • To deep breathing, laughter has a cleansing effect that is especially beneficial for patients suffering from emphysema and other respiratory ailments.

  • Laughter is great for the mind, body, and soul, and is akin to jogging for the soul.

  • Laughter acts as a cheat sheet to get the toned stomach. It is a known fact that laughter burns calories.

  • A good bout of laughter before sleeping reduces anxiety and leads to a deep sleep which is just what you need after a long day.

  • When you have a good hearty laugh, the muscles move and expand the blood vessels, which send more blood to all parts of the body. Furthermore, the rate of breathing increases, thereby increasing the oxygen level in the blood.

  • A person with a good sense of humor is always in a positive frame of mind and approaches each task with optimism.

  • Laughter affects the neuroendocrine system, which monitors the body's glucose levels.

  • Blood glucose level increases due to negative emotions like stress, fear, and anxiety. A good dose of laughter regulates the blood sugar since it massages the endocrine glands responsible for glucose production.

  • Laughing increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells. This reduces our chances of falling prey to common cold and cough. A strong immune system keeps the allergies and infections at bay.

  • Laughter is an excellent exercise for the facial muscles. About 15 facial muscles come together to bring that glee to your face. Laughing increases the blood supply to your cheeks that nourish the skin and makes your face glow. It tones up the face, giving you an attractive look.

  • Laughing boosts the production of serotonin, a natural antidepressant that produces a general sense of well-being and keeps one optimistic.

  • Among the 65-85-year-old study participants, those who were most optimistic were 55 percent less likely to die from all causes than the most pessimistic people.

  • Laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect.

Laughing

  • Laughter is a very good physical exercise too.

  • Watching a funny video or popping in your favorite comedy helps to loosen up your mind.

  • Get your laugh on. It improves your memory power. Research shows that funny video helped older adults score better on memory tests compared to those who didn’t watch one. It's an easy way to boost your long-term memory power.

  • To give yourself a nice boost, simply laugh a little. It helps to relax more and feel emotionally safer - something that gives your brain more power to be creative.

  • Researchers found the key to healing patients’ ulcers was stimulating blood flow in their legs - something laughing actually helped out with.

  • Laughter makes you smarter. Those who watched five minutes of gag reel footage were better able to solve problems than those who didn’t.

  • Laughing engages your brain in a way that instantly hones your focus, enabling you to stay productive.

  • Laughing played a role in reducing stress and improving natural killer cell activity - a type of white blood cell that’s crucial in protecting your body against tumors and infections.

  • Laughter helps us access another point of view.

  • Humor makes it easier for us to connect with others. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created.

  • Laughter will help you find a new mate. Men love women who laugh in their presence and women actually laugh 125% more than men. And if you’re already with someone, then a shared sense of humor is an important factor in keeping your relationship running smoothly.

  • Laughter may even help you to live longer. The studies found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don't laugh as much.


 

The more you laugh with others, the more likely you are to be remembered for the positive energy and feelings you bring. Even intimate relationships improve with laughter, leading to more happiness and joyful relations. To add simulated laughter into your own life, search for laugh yoga or laugh therapy groups. Or you can start simply by laughing at other people’s jokes, even if you don’t find them funny. It will make both you and the other person feel good, draw you closer together, and who knows, may even lead to some spontaneous laughter.

You can share your experiences with us. Thank you!