No Joke: Sometimes Laughter Is the Best Medicine | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 29 November 2012 13:23

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Laughing and telling jokes with friends is not just fun, it is good for your brain health.

Laughing is a good remedy for many things in life — we all need humor and levity to combat daily stresses. Laughing is not only a great release; it is available to everyone, anywhere, anytime.

If you’ve wondered if laughter really is good for your health, you’re not alone. Can it have hidden benefits other than simply being an automatic emotional response to seeing or hearing something funny?

University of Maryland Medical Center researchers say yes. It was the first university to find a link between laughter and lowering heart disease. Researchers found people with heart disease laughed, on average, 40 percent less than people of the same age without heart disease.

What they found was that, on a biological level, laughing introduces additional oxygen into the body. Lymph fluids are circulated and increased levels of oxygen boost immune system function.

Laughing, in a sense, “pumps” oxygen through vital organs and tissues, which need the oxygen to repair damage, fight infection and keep you feeling healthy.

People who laugh on a consistent basis tend to have lower blood pressure than those who laugh occasionally. Many studies have looked at the benefits of laughing and the heart.

Born to Laugh

Humans have a natural instinct for laughter. Babies usually begin to laugh at four-months-old. It appears that laughter may be one of the few universal traits found across human cultures. Laughter is a universal language that humans share.

We know that adults are far less likely to laugh than children. In fact, the average child laughs over 300 times a day, while the typical adult only laughs 17 times a day. Even worse is the fact that a majority of adults who report laughing on a daily basis fall into the age range of 18 to 34.

Humor and laughter may also have powerful effects on memory, brain health and aging. If the mental effects of laughter are as positive as the physical, then it is time to learn a few new jokes, gather some friends and start improving your brain health the easy way. Make them laugh. Polish those punch lines and improve your brain health.

A Universal Language

If you are an adult that doesn’t laugh enough, then it’s time to start laughing and help your body feel better while having some fun.

According to a Stanford researcher, laughing is like jogging while standing in place. Laughing is actually a physical workout.

Remember the last time your stomach hurt from laughing too much? You did a whole abdominal workout that was more fun than crunches and sit-ups any day. One minute of laughter is equal to using a rowing machine for 10 minutes.

 

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