You’ve probably heard the term, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Would it surprise you to learn that this idiom is actually true?
A number of studies have been done regarding the physiological reactions to laughter. That is, medical science has studied what changes, if any, occur in the body when someone laughs. The results of the studies have been what a lot of people might find astonishing.
Laughing is good for the heart
Some studies have shown that laughter stimulates the heart in a good way. For instance, the Mayo Clinic has found that laughter initially increases the blood pressure and heart rate, while also relaxing the blood vessels, allowing them to expand.
The result is increased blood circulation and an overall drop in blood pressure.
Since laughter also increases the respiration and causes deeper respiration, the amount of oxygen in the blood also increases. This means that with the elevated blood circulation, the cells of the body get a boost of oxygen.
In fact, if you laugh frequently, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke drop.
Better immune system response
An increase in oxygen also means that the immune system is strengthened. The body becomes better at fighting off infections of all sorts. Imagine, laughter can help people with colds and flu to become well faster!
Laughter also causes the body to more effectively remove free radicals, which are implicated in causing cancer. Additionally, laughing makes antioxidants that are in the system work better.
There is some excellent indication that people who don’t laugh very much are far more prone to get diabetes than those who do. This means that laughter can help prevent or fight diabetes!
Laughter also causes the brain to release endorphins and it elevates dopamine levels.
Endorphins help to directly relax the body, while also easing pain. That’s right; laughter acts as a powerful analgesic!
Dopamine is the “feel good” neurotransmitter that also has a great deal to do with the proper function of the nerves and motor functions. An increase in dopamine levels generally results in a feeling of euphoria. This means that it also directly fights depression.
The combination of the increased endorphin and dopamine levels even increase digestion, liver function, and kidney function.
What is more, the positive effects of laughter linger long after you stop laughing. Still, for the best health benefits, a person should endeavor to laugh several times every day.
It is hard to find any system in the body that isn’t positively impacted when we laugh. Preventing heart attack and stroke, increasing liver function, nerve function, kidney function, the immune system, digestion, relieving pain, and fighting cancer is only some of the things that laughter has been proven to help us with.
We should all make a serious effort to laugh more often. Laughter really is good for your health.