Weird Medicine

Laughter As Medicine: Best Tips On How To Have A Good Laugh

Laughter
Laughter therapy has been studied as a stress management tool, especially for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Photo by Kiana Bosman on Unsplash

We’ve all heard the popular phrase ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ but does it have any actual scientific basis? And even better, is it actually true at all?

Turns out, there is. And the short answer to both those questions is: Yes, it’s good medicine. Maybe not the best, but for something as simple as laughing, the health benefits both psychologically and physically are off the roof.

Lots of laughter a day, keeps the doctor away?

According to anthropological research, both humor and laughter are built-in, and historically, has been considered as a ‘social glue.’ In fact, an article published by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, stated laughter is considered as the ‘shortest distance between two people.’

It’s also incredibly contagious, and is even thought to have existed before humans could speak as a way to strengthen bonds. This is why up until today, we’re wired to smile or laugh whenever we hear others laughing. Interestingly enough, children tend to laugh a lot more than adults on a daily basis. Per studies, children tend to laugh around 300 times daily, while adults only laugh around 17 times.

As such, one of the best ways to start laughing is to share it with other people, or to be with other people who radiate the same energy and make you laugh. 

Laughter’s Health Benefits

So how exactly is laughter the ‘best medicine?’ Well, as one might suspect, it’s very good not only for our heart but for our overall cardiovascular health. In fact, according to a 2016 study made on 20, 934 Japanese seniors, those who laughed often have a 21 percent higher chance of not developing any cardiovascular complications. That percentage goes up much higher when it comes to stroke, reaching as high as 60 percent.

“Daily frequency of laughter is associated with lower prevalence of cardiovascular diseases . The association could not be explained by confounding factors, such as depressive symptoms,” wrote the authors.

The University of Kentucky even listed down the numerous benefits of laughter, which includes pain reduction, improved oxygenation, improved blood pressure, lower levels of stress hormones, muscle relaxation, strengthened immune function, abdominal, facial and back muscle conditioning, reduced risk of heart attack, improved emotional health, and improved brain function, which includes the ability to retain information better.

So yes, laughter really is one of the best medicines. Question is, have you already laughed today?

Laughter Laughter therapy has been studied as a stress management tool, especially for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Photo by Kiana Bosman on Unsplash

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