Is Laughter Really The Best Medicine?

Good-natured laughter does more than brighten a person’s day.

When we laugh heartily, we also exercise our muscles.

Psychology today says:

Laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain.

According to some Japanese doctors, laughter also normalises imbalances in the endocrine, nervous and immune systems, stabilises heartbeat and breathing, and can bring temporary relief to sufferers of rheumatism. Laughter stimulates sympathetic nerves, thereby boosting the blood flow to muscles and increasing brain activity.

Do you find that the daily pressures of life cause you to become tense and make it difficult for you to relax?

  • Emotions have a pronounced effect on the body.

Anger and rage, for example, can contribute to or even cause such ailments as asthma, skin diseases, ulcers and digestive troubles.

Medical authorities note that one’s frame of mind has much to do with one’s physical condition. Many studies indicate that prolonged stress, negative emotions and the like, weaken our immune system. On the other hand, smiling makes us feel good and laughter even fortifies our immune system.

  • Laughter releases powerful hormones

that energise the immune system. Osaka psychiatrist Michio Tanaka also praised the positive influence of laughter. According to Tanaka, “it’s like an effective drug with no side effects.” Laughter tends to relax a person, thereby lessening tension and lifting your spirits.

Scientists at the State University of New York found that laughter helps trigger the release of powerful hormones that energise a person’s immune system. One group of hormones, called cytokines, has been found to promote the activity of white blood cells, which are needed to ward off viral and bacterial infections and which destroy potential cancer cells. These are just “one of the substances whose levels are increased by laughter,” says The Sunday Times of London. The link between laughter and cytokines has led some researchers to refer to them as happy hormones. Thus, the paper calls laughter “a recipe for a long life.”

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