Way back in grade nine I had an assignment to write an essay on a one word subject; my word was laughter. Of course I cannot remember exactly what I wrote, but I do remember getting a great mark on it. I also remember researching, yes researching, laughter and learning how good it is for you. Today, laughter is still recommended as one of the best medicines…
There are many reasons laughter is good for you:
- Laughter activates the portion of your brain that produces endorphins which are natural pain killers.
- Laughter can boost your immune system by increasing the production of cells responsible for making antibodies and enhancing the effectiveness of T-cells.
- Laughter therapy is used to relieve stress and anxiety, relaxing the whole body.
- Laughter causes our hypothalamus to release nitric oxide which causes the inner lining of our blood vessels to dilate. This dilation increases blood flow and so improves the function of the blood vessels, which can prevent heart disease. Nitric oxide is also beneficial in reducing inflammation as well as preventing platelet clumping in our bloodstreams.
- Laughter can reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine.
- Laughter can improve your mood and add joy to your life.
- Laughter can strengthen relationships, reduce conflicts, and improve teamwork.
Laughter is a physical reaction involving contractions of the diaphragm of humans (and some primates) in response to either external or internal stimuli, yet is usually an expression of a positive emotional state, such as joy, happiness or relief.
Laughter is a natural and free form of medicine that can provide physical and emotional benefits to everyone. Beware, laughter is also very contagious!