Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine

You’ve most likely heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” As it turns out, laughing is great for you!

Good for Your Health

According to Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda University in California, laughter “may even compare to a proper diet and exercise when it comes to keeping you healthy and disease-free.” Berk has spent the past three decades researching the ways the aftershocks of a laugh ripple through the brain and body.

Your nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system are in constant communication. Your mood can impact your health and even cause sickness. The main example of this is grief. Grief induces stress hormones, which suppress your immune system. Stress and laughter have reciprocal effects. Laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol. Laughing triggers the production of neurochemicals like dopamine, which contains calming, anti-anxiety benefits.

Laughter v. Stress

Laughter has been linked to shutting down stress, lowering levels of inflammation, and improving blood flow. Laughter can also induce gamma frequencies in the brain. These brain waves are similar to those of experienced meditators. Laughing more can also improve the synchronization of your neurological activity, which can help with memory.

Dr. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, says trying to study the biological benefits of laughter has been tricky. Because a lot of things can cause laughter, it is hard to control for aspects of the studies. However, Provine has deduced that you are 30 times more likely to laugh with other people than when you are alone. We know social relationships and companionships have positive effects on our health. The social aspect of laughter makes sense, which is an added bonus to social interaction.

Provine admits they do not know everything about why laughter is good for you, but rather concludes, “when we laugh, we’re in a happy place. That’s always a good thing.”

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below!

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