There has been a lot of studies on laughter and how it impacts the body.
A recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore revealed that people who don’t laugh seem more likely to develop heart problems. Their research revealed that mental stress impairs the protective barrier lining our heart vessels, which can lead to a heart attack. One very powerful remedy they found was laughter.
In the study, researchers compared the humor responses of 300 people. Half of the participants had either suffered a heart attack or undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. The other 150 did not have heart disease. One questionnaire had a series of multiple-choice answers to find out how much or how little people laughed in certain situations, and the second one used true or false answers to measure anger and hostility.
Miller said that the most significant study finding was that "people with heart disease responded less humorously to everyday life situations." They generally laughed less, even in positive situations, and they displayed more anger and hostility.
Miller says, "The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day."
A recent study which was carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford in collaboration with other European and US researchers, investigated how laughter may play a role in social bonding and its relationship to the release of endorphins in the body. It was found that people who were made to laugh by watching comedy videos had higher pain thresholds immediately after the videos than before.
The Effects of Laughter
Researchers at the University of Maryland have shown that laughter has a positive effect on our Blood flow, Immune response, Blood sugar levels, Relaxation and Sleep.
The Benefits of Laughter
Physical Health Benefits:
• Boosts immunity
• Lowers stress hormones
• Decreases pain
• Relaxes your muscles
• Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits:
• Adds joy and zest to life
• Eases anxiety and fear
• Relieves stress
• Improves mood
• Enhances resilience
• Strengthens relationships
• Attracts others to us
• Enhances teamwork
• Helps defuse conflict
• Promotes group bonding
Conclusion, it has been proven that laughter is good medicine and has got physical, mental and social benefits, so let us make efforts to seek out ways to laugh every day.
By Elizabeth SamCoffie
1. Links to the science
Dunbar, R.I.M., Baron, R., Frangou, A., 'Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold', Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biology: Published online before print September 14
2. Melinda, S., Kemp, G., Segal, J., 'Laughter is the Best Medicine
The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter', Last updated: May 2010.
3. Murray, M.W., ‘Laughter is the best medicine for your heart’, http://www.umm.edu/features/laughter.htm
4. R. Morgan Griffin, Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, 'Give Your Body a Boost -- With Laughter
Why, for some, laughter is the best medicine', http://women.webmd.com/guide/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter