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The Amazing Health Benefits of Laughter

By Lourdes Santos June 07, 2017

Laughing is a no brainer. It is as natural to us normal people as breathing. It is a common response when we find something funny in the form of images, memories, sounds, or physical sensations. However, if you know that it has actual health benefits, would you do it more often? Come to think of it, those who have a good sense of humor tend to look and feel younger. This is because laughing gives a number of our muscle groups a good workout and can even defend our bodies against sickness. Along with a significant increase in memory, intelligence and creativity, laughing increases the blood flow to our cells and organs, thus reducing stress hormones and blood pressure.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER

1. Reduces stress hormones

Don't you feel better after having a good laugh? Laughter lessens the production of immunosuppressant hormones, which has a harmful effect on the body. Notice that when you are stressed, you are very likely to get sick as your body's defenses are down. So laugh a little even though times are bad as it could do wonders for your body.

 

2. Strengthens Immune System

A dose of laughter stimulates the antibodies known as lymphocytes to develop faster and help shield our body from illness. When our body does succumb to sickness and infection, the increase in antibodies help heal us faster. Studies prove that people who regularly have a good laugh have increased lymphocytes in their blood stream.

 

3. Laughter gives us our body a natural workout

When we laugh, we use muscles in our body. It engages our diaphragm and abdominal muscles into quite a workout, not to mention our facial muscles. This is the reason why our sides hurt when we laugh too much. Congratulations, you just had a workout without meaning to.

 

4. It increases oxygen levels in our bloodstream

When we laugh, our heart rate increases and it stimulates an increase in our blood flow. This action increases the amount of oxygen in our brain and promotes healthier brain function. Additionally, our lungs get a workout as well when we laugh as there is a higher level of lung ventilation during "mirthful laughter."

 

5. Natural Mood Enhancer

A simple smile can uplift our spirits immediately, then what more when we laugh? Studies show that laughter has an analgesic quality that causes a drastic shift in mood. Even if you don't feel like laughing or there is nothing to laugh about, a forced laugh usually works as well, as our brains do not recognize whether the stimuli is genuine or not. So even if you can't find anything to laugh about, just join in the fun and bask in the health benefits!

 

References:

 

  • 1. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/87/5/342.extract
  • 2. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1731/1161.short
  • 3. http://journals.lww.com/_layouts/1033/OAKS.Journals/Error/decommission.html
  • 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2249748/
  • 5. http://www.degruyter.com/dg/viewarticle/j$002fhumr.1994.7.issue-2$002fhumr.1994.7.2.111$002fhumr.1994.7.2.111.xml
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