BENGALURU: Children laugh more than 300 times a day, whereas adults laugh less than 20 times a day. In recent times, people tend to lead a busy life and forget something as simple and important as laughter. Laughter is the best medicine for your health. Laughter is a physical reaction in human being with often audible contraction of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system in response to an internal or an external stimuli. When we laugh, we release endorphins into our bodies, which are a natural opiate and helps you feel good instantly. It is very essential to give yourself a good belly laugh. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.
Health benefits of laughter
Face: All the facial muscles are put into action which helps to de stress which provides similar to an actual massage to the facial muscles.It improves the vascular flow and also improves the freshness and glow in the face
Respiratory system: By laughing the respiratory health improves as all the muscles of respiration are brought into play similar to an aerobic exercise
Neuro muscular ending: All the muscles are put into exercise including the leg and hand muscles by the vigarous movement, which helps in spending energy, in turn there is break down of calories, it also helps in calaorie loss and helps in weight management as seen in laughter clubs
Mental health : It bring a good outcome in patients sufffering from anxiety disorders as it reduces stress and anxiety which is comonly encountered in today’s busy life.
Laughing lowers blood pressure: Laughter reduces the production of stress hormones. Laughter also works the muscles, leading to an initial rise in blood pressure followed by a more sustained drop. Blood vessels dilate and an increased amount of oxygen enters the circulation due to deeper breathing. Laughing 15-20 minutes a day helps in improving the heart and its functioning.
Reduces stress hormone levels: Laughter reduces levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and dopamine. The reduction of stress hormones in your body may result in higher immune system performance Laughing helps in reducing the stress tentatively for an hour.
Reduce weight: One of the benefits of laughter is that it can help one tone their abs. When one is laughing, the muscles in their stomach expand and contract, similar to when they intentionally exercise their abs, add laughter to your ab routine to get a toned tummy
Improves cardiac health: Laughter is a great cardio workout, especially for those who are incapable of doing other physical activities due to injury or illness. It gets your heart pumping and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace. So, laugh your heart into health
Boosts T cells : T cells are specialized immune system cells just waiting in one’s body for activation. When one laughs, they activate T cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness & killer cells. Studies are also being conducted to prove this immune-boosting property of laughter being helpful in treatment of cancer.
Increases immunity: Positive thoughts help in releasing neuropeptides that fight stress and many potential illnesses. Laughter helps in bringing positive thoughts. Through laughter, one can have a better capacity to fight diseases and reduce the chances of falling sick. There can be improvement in the functioning of blood vessels with laughter. There are high chances for the blood stream to enhance as well.
Triggers the release of endorphins: Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers. By laughing, you can release endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over.
Produces a general sense of well-being : Laughter can increase your overall sense of well-being. One feels more positive and optimistic, more hopeful, engaged and more radiantly alive when we laugh
As an adult, you will face age associated memory deficits, but humor and laughter can improve your quality of life. It is one of the best ways for a physical and emotional release. Laughing takes an individual to a higher place where they can view the world from a more relaxed, positive, creative, joyful, and balanced perspective.
- Dr K V Harish MD, General Medicine, Apollo Clinic, Bangalore