We’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and research offers some tangible examples. According to recent studies, laughing significantly benefits our physical and mental health, helping us feel better all around.
Let’s look at how laughing every day makes us healthier.
Psychologically, laughing can improve mood almost immediately and lower stress and anxiety. Physically, it can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and raise the “feel good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can help with depression.
Laughing has also been shown to raise endorphins, which have pain-relieving effects. One study from 2011 looked at the potential effect of endorphins in easing pain by showing participants funny videos while they wore a freezing sleeve over an arm to see how long they could last. Those who laughed lasted longer.
In a separate study from 2020, a group of Brazilian and Canadian researchers analyzed 21 studies on the impact of hospital clowns on children suffering from various symptoms, including pain, anxiety, stress, cancer-related fatigue, and crying. It was found that children exposed to clowns were significantly less anxious during medical procedures, regardless of whether a parent was present. They also experienced improved overall psychological well-being.
These are just a couple of references to research about laughter, but in fact, there are numerous studies showing the benefits of laughing, including lower blood pressure, improved heart health, boosted immunity, help with sleep issues, and more.
This article was originally published on BelMarraHealth.com
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