Do you happen to think that the phrase “laughter is the best medicine” is just a phrase?
Well, it isn’t.
Probably not many of you know there is a scientific proof of the truthfulness of the phrase. Science has proven that a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh can be beneficial to you from physical, emotional and social aspect.
You will agree that laughter is much more convenient than a trip to the doctor and works much better than any medicine he or she can prescribe. So, why not laugh your head off?
Here are only a handful of reasons why it is healthy for anyone out there to cherish their sense of humor:
1. Laughter is linked to the normal function of blood vessels
In people who often laugh blood flow is excellent because laughter triggers the dilation or expansion of the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels. Principal investigator Michael Miller says: “It is conceivable that laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
2. Laughter improves your emotional health
Laughter and humor (one of the four liquids that were thought in the past to be in a person’s body and to influence health and character) trigger the brain’s emotional and reward centers, releasing dopamine, which helps the brain to process emotional responses and enhances the experience of pleasure; releasing serotonin, which lifts disposition; and endorphins which regulate pain and stress and induce euphoria.
Laughter mimics the euphoric states experienced in social music-making and dancing. Evidence suggests these states are associated with the release of endorphins.
3. Laughter plays an important role in social interaction and bonding
Laughter plays an important role in regulating conversation among humans and is also significant in facilitating social bonding between groups of individuals. A sense of humor is important in interpersonal interaction and mutual attraction, and an important component of social competence. A healthy sense of humor bonds friends and family and reinforces group identity. It can promote a happier marriage as well.
It has been hypothesized that laughter has been around long before humans begun to use speech. Therefore, there are already instinctive social cues humans are aware of in a given social situation.
4. People who laugh look more attractive to other people.
Men with a good sense of humor are found more appealing to women. Women are more attracted to men with the same sense of humor and vice versa. It makes you more comfortable to be around in social situations, such as dinner parties or late-night gatherings, allowing you to broaden your social circles. It is also argued that having a good sense of humor in a job interview makes you look friendly and increases your chances of getting hired.
5. Laughter lowers stress and anxiety levels.
Humor is described as “an element of resilience” and therefore can allow you to put everyday problems in perspective, increasing your coping capabilities in difficult situations.” It moderates the adverse effects of stress on health and promotes a positive mood to cancel out negative emotions. It helps to see the funny side in adverse situations. Unpretentious laughter is also contagious, so why not improve someone’s mood by sharing a laugh with them?
6. Laughter is like superfood-it strengthens the immune system.
Stressful events in our everyday lives suppress the immune system, especially a frustrating situation such as “the car won’t start” and the like. They increase the risk of infectious illness and heart disease. Hilarity prevents stress from affecting the immune system, protecting you from diseases.
7. Laughter is beneficial to the respiratory system.
Last but not least, laughter provides the fastest and easiest method of regulating breathing and flushing out the lungs. It leads to an immediate increase in heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen consumption. Enthusiastic prolonged laughter rids the lungs of residual air and replaces it with fresh, oxygen-rich air. In simple terms, it allows you to breathe deeper, improving respiratory function, especially for those with respiratory ailments such as asthma.
So, always look on the bright side of life and burst into laughter as often as you can!